Six passengers who arrived from South Africa or other high-risk countries in Maharashtra have tested positive for COVID-19, the State Public Health Department said on Tuesday.
Among these, one case each has been reported Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali, Mira-Bhayandar and Pune. Besides, two passengers who arrived from Nigeria in Pimpri-Chinchwad have tested positive for the infection, the Public Health Department said.
Besides, all the samples have been sent for genomic sequencing and their contact tracing exercise is underway. All these passengers, though tested COVID-19 positive, are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, the Public Health Department further said.
Omicron (B.1.1.529), a new variant of the coronavirus, was first reported in Botswana on November 11 this year and appeared in November 14 in South Africa. It has been declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
No confirmed case in India
India has so far not reported any cases of this new variant, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday.
"No case of COVID-19 variant Omicron has been reported in India so far," Mandaviya said in Rajya Sabha during Question Hour today.
Owing to the information received on the virus, the minister said that an advisory has been issued in this regard.
"We are immediately checking suspicious cases and conducting genome sequencing. We have learnt a lot during the COVID crisis. Today, we have a lot of resources and laboratories. We can manage any situation," the minister said.
He further assured that all necessary precautions are being taken to stop the virus from entering the country.
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