Two more Omicron cases

Number of virus variant cases in State rises to seven

Two more cases of COVID-19 caused by the virus variant Omicron have been confirmed in the State, taking the total number of such cases in the State to seven, Health Minister Veena George said here on Friday.

Omicron was confirmed in a husband-wife duo, aged 68 and 67 years, who flew into Kochi from Sharjah on December 8.

As per the Centre’s directive, the United Arab Emirates is not on the list of “high-risk” nations and, hence, this couple had been allowed to be on self-observation rather than quarantine.

After they developed symptoms, they underwent RT-PCR test on December 11 and 12 and as they tested positive for COVID-19, the samples were sent for genomic analysis to the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, which confirmed the presence of Omicron.

Contacts traced

According to official information, there are six persons on the contact list of the husband and one on the primary contact list of the wife, all of whom will be subjected to testing. There were 54 passengers on the flight in which they flew in.

Of the seven cases of Omicron documented in the State now, three were people who had come from nations not deemed to be “high risk”, raising the question whether these geographic demarcations make any sense any more.

Ms. George said in a statement that persons from nations not listed as “high risk” should go on self-observation and follow the rules strictly. They should not visit crowded places or public places or functions in any circumstance, the Minister added.

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