Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday said the sample of one of the two South African nationals who came to Bengaluru recently is "a little different from the Delta variant".
Refusing to divulge the identity of the man, the minister said his COVID report shows that he has contracted a different variant of the novel coronavirus.
"There is a 63-year-old man whose name I should not disclose. His report is a bit different. It appears different from the Delta variant. We will discuss with the ICMR officials and will let people know by the evening what it is," K Sudhakar said.
The minister also said that he has sought a detailed report on the Omicron variant.
"We will get a clear information on December 1 about how the Omicron behaves after the genomic sequencing. Accordingly we will initiate all measures," he explained.
Underlining the fact that the new variant is visible in at least 12 nations, Sudhakar said the international travellers will be tested carefully and those tested positive will be hospitalised compulsorily.
"We are tracking and closely watching all those who came from South Africa in the past 14 days. We have started tracing and testing their primary and secondary contacts since Saturday," the minister said.
Amid this, speculation was rife that the Karnataka government might impose a lockdown amid concerns over the Omicron variant. However, K Sudhakar has clarified and said that there is no proposal to impose a lockdown and that people should not spread rumours.
“There is no such proposal to impose a lockdown. Fake news is being spread on social media. There will be a meeting held with the Technical Advisory Committee, doctors and future guidelines on COVID-19 precautions will be discussed. We should not do anything that creates tension, false information should not be spread on social media," News Minute quoted the minister as saying.
"Many have already suffered during the pandemic and now panic should not be spread. People should follow precautions and follow appropriate COVID-19 norms to protect themselves from the virus,” he added.
Also, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has clarified that there is no proposal before his government to impose a lockdown.
Bommai asked people not to panic over the new COVID-19 variant and duly follow all COVID-19 protocols. He said that the government would be maintaining a strict vigil over the people visiting India from countries where the new variant was found, and contact tracing is being carried out without fail, reported The Hindu.
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