A 33-year- old resident of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has tested positive for the Omicron variant. He became the first case of Omicron variant in Maharashtra. According to the officials, the traveler had not taken any dose of COVID-19 vaccine and had mild symptoms. On the other hand three new fliers in Mumbai have been tested COVID-19 positive, taking the total number of fliers being positive to 17, of which four are contact tracing.
“Presence of the Omicron variant has been confirmed from laboratory investigation in a 33- year-old passenger who arrived in Mumbai on November 24 from Capetown, South Africa through Dubai and Delhi,” said Pratibha Panpatil, Chief Medical Officer of the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC).
He had tested negative in an RT-PCR test conducted 72 hours prior to his inter-connected flights from Cape Town to Mumbai. Upon landing in Delhi airport, a RT-PCR test was conducted but even before getting the result, he was allowed to fly to Mumbai. “Later, after landing in Mumbai, he received his RT-PCR report which showed the presence of the pathogens of Covid-19. But he showed the earlier negative test report to the screening officer at the Mumbai airport,” said an health official. Later, he took a private cab from the airport and travelled for 50kms to reach his house in Dombivli.
The patient was mildly symptomatic and is being treated at the Covid Care Centre in Kalyan-Dombivali. Moreover, 12 of the passenger’s high-risk contacts and 23 of the low-risk contacts have been traced and all have been tested negative for Covid-19. “Additionally, 25 of the co-passengers from the Delhi-Mumbai flight have also been tested negative. More contacts are currently being traced,” said health officials.
Meanwhile, results of the genomic sequencing of a 60-year-old male passenger’s sample who had arrived from Zambia has been obtained from the National Institute of Virology and Omicron has not been detected in the sample. Instead, a sub-lineage of the Delta variant has been detected in the sample.
Until today morning, 3,839 passengers arriving from at-risk countries for Omicron at Mumbai airport have been tested with RT-PCR and 344 out of 17,107 passengers arriving from other countries have been tested.
Genetic changes/mutation in viruses is a natural phenomenon and people should not panic. The Public Health Department appeals to the citizens that they should follow Covid- appropriate behaviour, inform the Public Health Department authorities if they have had an international travel history in the last month and those who have not taken Covid-19 vaccine or have had only one dose should complete their vaccination at the earliest.