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India

Updated on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 07:38 PM IST

Tamil Nadu fears Omicron as 28 foreign returnees detected with Covid S-gene drop, sample sent for genomic sequencing

Currently, travellers arriving from ‘high-risk’ countries undergo mandated RT-PCR testing at the international airport
PTI
Photo: Representative Image

Photo: Representative Image

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As many as 28 people who arrived from both ‘high-risk’ and ‘non-risk’ countries till date have tested Covid-19 positive along with S-gene drop, raising the suspicion of being infected by Omicron, Tamil Nadu Minister Ma Subramanian said on Friday.

The Minister for Medical and Family Welfare said the samples of the 28 passengers have been sent for genomic sequencing analysis.

Talking to reporters, here, Subramanian said he would seek the Centre’s approval to hold mandatory RT-PCR testing on passengers arriving from ‘non-risk’ countries on completion of their seven-day home quarantine.

Currently, travellers arriving from ‘high-risk’ countries undergo mandated RT-PCR testing at the international airport while the Health Department randomly conducts RTPCR sampling to 2 per cent of passengers arriving from ‘non-risk’ countries.

The decision to seek the Centre’s approval to mandate conducting of such sampling on completion of their home isolation was in the backdrop of the State detecting the first case of Omicron after a passenger who arrived from Nigeria, a non-risk country.

Subramanian said he would write a letter to the Centre in this connection stating passengers should mandatorily undergo RT-PCR testing on completion of home isolation and only then they should be allowed to go out in public.

He said till date 14,868 people who had arrived in Tamil Nadu from both ‘high-risk’ and ‘non-risk’ countries had undergone Covid-19 testing, of which 70 people tested Covid-19 positive and 65 of them were under treatment while five testing negative.

The Minister said while one passenger who arrived from Nigeria was confirmed with Omicron variant, 28 passengers, including a passenger who arrived from Congo, have been detected with ‘s-gene drop’ raising the suspicion of being infected by Omicron.

“The samples of the 28 passengers have been sent for genomic sequence analysis. Results of 10 people have been declared in which eight have been tested for Delta variant, one Omicron variant (December 15) and another non-sequence. The sample of the passenger who has been declared as ‘non-sequence’ will be tested again”, he said.

Subramanian said health department officials were in the process of conducting RT-PCR testing on 278 people who were contacts of the passenger who was confirmed with Omicron variant in Tamil Nadu on arrival from Nigeria.

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Published on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 07:38 PM IST
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