Omicron scare: 17 more test positive for new Covid variant

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Omicron scare: 17 more test positive for new Covid variant

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 5

As many as 17 new Omicron cases were reported today with nine persons from Rajasthan, seven from Maharashtra and one from Delhi testing positive for the new Covid-19 variant, taking the tally to 21 in the country.

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With this, four states and the national capital have now reported cases of the potentially more contagious variant. The maximum cases were reported from Jaipur where nine persons, including four of a family, tested positive. Health Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said some patients had travel history of South Africa.

Covid toll revised

India on Sunday saw a single-day rise of 2,796 Covid deaths, toll now stands at 4,73,326. This was attributed to reconciliation of data by Bihar & Kerala.

Maharashtra health officials confirmed the seven new cases after one detected yesterday. They said a woman and her two daughters who returned from Nigeria; the woman’s brother and his two daughters in Pune and a man who returned from Finland had been detected Omicron positive. Earlier today, a 37-year-old man who returned to Delhi from Tanzania tested positive, making him the first Omicron case in the National Capital. India had on Saturday seen two new cases — one each in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Meanwhile, the WHO said today that Omicron had been detected in 38 countries across all six WHO Regions, including South-East Asia of which India is a member.

“We do see increasing trends in Omicron in South Africa. So there is a suggestion that there is increased transmissibility,” said WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19 Maria Van Kerkhove.

“The Delta variant is still dominant worldwide. That is important to keep in mind. We need to see how Omicron compares with Delta when they are both circulating in the population at the same time. So it will take a few more days for us to get that information,” Kerkhove said.

Scientists, meanwhile, referred to early studies from South Africa that suggest milder illness with Omicron as against severe disease with Delta.

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