Fears of Omicron loom in Karnataka after two South Africans test positive for COVID-19
Bengaluru Rural Deputy Commissioner K Srinivas explained that as many as 584 people have arrived in Bengaluru from 10 high-risk nations and 94 have come from South Africa alone so far
BENGALURU: Karnataka health officials are a worried lot as two South African nationals who arrived in Bengaluru tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities are awaiting results of their genome sequencing reports to confirm whether it is the new Omicron variant. The duo have been isolated and quarantined.
Speaking to the media, Bengaluru Rural Deputy Commissioner K Srinivas on Saturday said that of the international passengers screened at Kempegowda International Airport, two from South Africa have tested positive for COVID-19.
"Their samples have been collected and sent for genome sequencing. It takes about 48 hours to receive the reports. We are waiting to ascertain if they are infected with the new Omicron variant," he said.
Both are being quarantined in different facilities and they will be kept there until their test results confirm whether they have the new variant. Srinivas explained that as many as 584 people have arrived in Bengaluru from 10 high-risk nations and 94 have come from South Africa alone so far.
The officer visited the Bengaluru International Airport to inspect the security and monitor the precautionary measures taken by authorities including the process of checking international passengers who arrive from high-risk countries where the Omicron variant of Covid is leading to an increase in cases.
Meanwhile, the WHO has classified the Omicron variant as a 'Variant of Concern'. The WHO said that this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence has suggested an increased risk of reinfection with this variant compared to others.
"The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa," the WHO said in a press release. The WHO also urged countries to enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand the spreading of variants.
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