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India’s Omicron cases rise to 5 as Tanzanian returnee tests positive for virus strain in Delhi


New Delhi: A 37-year-old man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania has tested positive for Omicron, making it first case of the new COVID-19 variant in the national capital, officials said on Sunday.

The patient is currently admitted at the Lok Nayak Hospital and has mild symptoms, they said.

“Twelve samples had been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control. One was found carrying the Omicron variant. The patient is an Indian and had returned from Tanzania a few days ago,” an official told PTI.

“The patient’s travel history is being collated and contacts being traced,” he said.

With this, the number of Omicron cases reported in India reached five.

On Saturday, a 72-year-old NRI man from Gujarat and a 33-year-old man from Maharashtra were found infected with the new strain after they came from the “at-risk” countries of Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively.

The country’s first two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 were reported on Thursday in Karnataka – in a 66-year-old South African flyer and a 46-year-old Bengaluru doctor with no travel history and both men fully vaccinated.

The NRI man had arrived in Gujarat from Zimbabwe on November 28 and had tested positive for coronavirus on December 2, after which his sample was sent for genome sequencing, officials said. He was fully vaccinated against COVID, they said.

As states tighten curbs to keep the Omicron variant at bay, the Centre has advised them to undertake enhanced surveillance of international travellers and also monitor emerging COVID hotspots.

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