The wife and brother-in-law of an NRI man, who had been found infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 here in Gujarat a week back, were also detected with the new strain, officials of the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) said on Friday.
With this, Gujarat now has three patients of Omicron, classified as a 'variant of concern' by the WHO after it was detected in Africa last month.
Genome sequencing of swab samples at the Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) in Gandhinagar has established that both the COVID-19 patients were also infected with the Omicron variant, the officials said.
They were shifted to a special Omicron Ward created in the state-run Guru Gobind Singh Government Hospital in the city, said a release by the JMC.
On December 4, genome sequencing of swab sample had established that the 72-year-old NRI man, who arrived here from Zimbabwe, one of the countries categorized as "at-risk" by the central government, had contracted the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The next day, the NRI man's wife, who came with him from Zimbabwe, and his brother-in-law, who lives in Jamnagar, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Their swab samples were sent to GBRC to find out whether they were infected with the Omicron variant, said the release.
Genomic sequencing is a process to decode genes in SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, to help scientists find which variant might be present in swab samples.
Notably, no other family members or school students who used to visit the house of the NRI man's brother-in-law for tuitions, tested positive for coronavirus during contact tracing and testing exercise.
As a precautionary measure, the municipal corporation had declared the residential society, where the NRI's family resides, a micro-containment zone and restricted the movement of people there by putting barricades.
As directed, officials had also conducted an exercise of administering COVID-19 vaccines to people in the area who have not taken the first or second dose till date, the release said.
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