Bengaluru Omicron Patient A Doctor, 5 Contacts Test Positive For Covid

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Bangalore:

Five acquaintances of Omicron patient – a doctor from Bangalore – have been found to be covid positive, Karnataka announced today, the Union Health Ministry said, adding that the first patient of the new covid variant has been found in the state. Patients have been isolated and their samples sent for genome testing, Karnataka said amid concerns over highly contagious strains that have issued worldwide warnings.

One of the two initial patients was a 46-year-old fully vaccinated doctor from Bangalore, who had no travel history and showed symptoms of fever and body aches on November 21.

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The next day he tested positive and was hospitalized; On the same day his sample was sent for genome sequencing. But three days later he was released.

After extensive communication, the Karnataka government says it has 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts.

Another confirmed Omicron patient is a 66-year-old South African who came to India with a negative covid report.

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The man, who received both doses of the vaccine, tested positive on arrival and was asymptomatic, after which he was told to self-immolate. A week later, he left for Dubai after receiving a negative Covid report from a private lab.

His 24 primary and 240 secondary contact samples returned negative test results.

Omicron, identified in South Africa, has been designated by the World Health Organization as a ‘diversity of concern’. It is thought to contain 50+ mutations, including more than 30 on-spike proteins, making it significantly more contagious than the Delta variant.

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Announcing the emergence of the virus in India, which some health experts said was inevitable, the Union Health Ministry said, “We need not panic about omikron detection but awareness is absolutely essential. Follow covid-appropriate behavior and avoid gatherings”.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraja S Bomai today met Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandavia in Delhi and discussed the situation. He said he also raised the possibility of giving health workers a booster dose of the vaccine. The health minister responded that the center was looking at current developments and a decision on conducting booster shots would be taken after discussions with the expert committee, he said.

“We are holding a meeting tomorrow with all the details and will come up with a new SOP (Standard Operating System). We are trying to get expert opinion and center guidance,” he later told reporters.

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