Six returnees from ‘at risk’ countries test Covid positive in Odisha

Official sources on Monday said persons who tested positive had returned from Dubai, Uganda and Saudi Arabia.

Published: 07th December 2021 10:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2021 10:23 AM   |  A+A-

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Image used for representation. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Six foreign returnees have tested positive for Covid-19 in Odisha since November 26, the day WHO announced the emergence of Omicron. Official sources on Monday said persons who tested positive had returned from Dubai, Uganda and Saudi Arabia. The State government has sent a total 260 Covid positive samples from 13 districts, including those of the six returnees, to Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar, for genome sequencing. The sequencing data is awaited. 

ILS Director Dr. Ajay Parida said the samples tested positive will undergo RT-PCR tests once again to ensure there is no false positive. “The Covid-19 positive sample having CT value of below 28 will be sequenced to ascertain the variants. The result is expected in the next couple of days,” he said.   

Surveillance on travellers from overseas has been intensified across the State after the detection of Omicron variant in 23 samples from five states/UTs - Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi.  Health officials are, however, in a tight spot as more than 300 travellers of the 800-odd people who had recently returned from ‘at risk’ countries, are untraceable after their arrival in Odisha.

Director of Public Health Dr. Niranjan Mishra said around 40 per cent (pc) of the international travellers are not cooperating with the officials engaged to track them and arrange their testing on the eighth day of their arrival. “While some of the mobile numbers of the foreign returnees are found switched off, some of them have entered wrong addresses and contact numbers in the Air Suvidha portal. Some others claimed to have moved to other cities. Districts have been asked to send a list of foreign returnees tested positive so far,” he said. 

Last week’s genome sequencing data indicated that the Delta variant continued to be the dominant lineage for new cases across the State. Of the 288 samples, including 242 from Odisha and 46 from Chhattisgarh, 59 were detected with AY.44 sub-lineage, 41 with Delta, 26 with AY.102 and the rest are of the sub-lineage of Delta variant.


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