Mumbai: A man who travelled from South Africa’s Cape Town to Maharashtra’s Thane district has tested positive for COVID-19. However, it is not yet known whether the individual was carrying the Omicron variant.
He returned to Dombivili on November 24 and remains admitted at the Art Gallery isolation centre of the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation.
Dr Pratiba Panpatil, a medical officer with the KDMC told reporters that the man had not come in contact with anyone after his return. Reportedly, members of his family remain in isolation and are slated to undertake a COVID-19 test today, as per a PTI report.
“The KDMC health department is on alert. We are prepared to deal with the new variant,” the official added.
Similarly, last week in Bengaluru, two South African nationals tested positive for COVID-19. Later, Karnataka Health official reports indicated that the duo have been infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Days after being detected in South Africa, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has now spread to many nations from around the globe. In awake of the new mutated strain, the Central and state government have put precautionary measures for international travelers entering the country.
While India is yet to report any cases, suspected or confirmed cases of the new variant have already been reported from numerous countries including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Israel.
Last week, the World Health Organisation had classified Omicron as a Variant of Concern, indicating that it may be far more dangerous than its predecessors. The international health body on Sunday said that it was not yet clear whether Omicron causes more severe disease or has increased transmissibility. “Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron, as compared to other variants of concern, but information is limited,” the WHO said.