Mumbai reports first 2 cases of Omicron variant; Maharashtra’s countdown to 10

Two fully vaccinated people who returned from overseas last month have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus Omicron in Mumbai, the first cases of the variant found in the metropolis, the civic body said on Monday, taking the number. of these infections in Maharashtra to ten.

A man who returned from South Africa and his close contact from the United States were found to be infected with the Omicron strain, according to a statement from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The statement said the 37-year-old man, who landed in Mumbai from South Africa on November 25, was found infected with Omicron along with one of his contacts – a 36-year-old friend who arrived in the city from the United States. the same day. These are the first two cases of Omicron from Mumbai and the third from the Mumbai Metropolitan Area (MMR). Previously, a 33-year-old traveler who had returned to Dombivli in the neighboring district of Thane from South Africa had tested positive for the new variant. The man from Mumbai tested positive for COVID-19 on November 29 and his friend the next day, the BMC said. The statement said both were fully vaccinated. After testing positive for COVID-19, they were admitted to Seven Hills Hospital run by BMC on the outskirts of Mumbai and they are asymptomatic, he said. Their swabs were sent for testing at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune last week and reports received on Monday confirmed they were infected with Omicron, the statement said. The BMC said they performed COVID-19 tests on all of the two travelers’ close contacts, but neither of them tested positive for the infection. The civic body is carrying out COVID-19 tests on international travelers arriving in Mumbai since November 1. So far, 16 travelers – 12 men and four women – have tested positive for COVID-19, the statement said. Swab samples of all were sent for genome sequencing and one of them (a 37-year-old returnee from South Africa) was found infected with Omicron, the civic body said. Likewise, nine close contacts of travelers – four men and five women – tested positive for COVID-19 and one of them (a friend of the returnee from South Africa) was found infected with the new variant. , according to the press release. According to the statement, a total of 4,480 passengers have arrived in Mumbai from countries “at risk” until December 5. Emphasizing that the mutation of a virus is a natural occurrence, the civic body said citizens should not panic and called on them to behave appropriately in COVID-19. Previously, seven people, including a non-resident Indian woman (NRI) and her two daughters from Nigeria, had tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the Pune district. With those seven patients from Pune and three from MMR, Maharashtra has now reported 10 cases of the new variant. On November 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) named Omicron the variant of the COVID-19 virus detected in South Africa and some other countries. WHO has classified the Omicron variant as a “variant of concern”. Health experts have expressed the possibility that due to the genetic modification of the virus, it may have some specific characteristics. While the transmissibility of the infection appears to have increased due to the new variant, there is still not enough clarity on whether or not it will cause serious illness and whether it will escape immunity, said the ‘WHO.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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