Kozhikode (Kerala) [India], December 4 (ANI): Amid rising concerns regarding the Omicron variant of COVID-19, a traveller from the United Kingdom who landed in Kerala tested COVID-19 positive.
Speaking to ANI on Friday evening, Kozhikode District Medical Officer Dr Ummer Farook, "A man, who returned from the UK on November 21, tested positive for COVID-19 on November 26.""Samples of his mother and house help have been sent for testing. The man's sample has been sent for genome sequencing," he said.
The Centre on Thursday informed that two people have tested positive for the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus in Karnataka.
A 46-year-old male and a 66-year-old male were those who contracted the variant.
Addressing a media briefing Joint Secretary of the Union Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal on Thursday said all primary and secondary contacts of the two infected persons from Karnataka have been identified and they are being monitored and COVID-protocols are being followed.
The two cases of Omircron were detected through genome sequencing effort of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) consortium of 37 laboratories established by the Union Health Ministry, said Balram Bhargava, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at today's same press briefing.
A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.
On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered. (ANI)