Karnataka stated today that five contacts of an Omicron patient – a Bengaluru doctor – have tested positive for COVID-19 virus, just hours after the Union health ministry announced that the first patients of the novel coronavirus strain have been detected in the state. The patients have been quarantined, and their samples have been sent for genome testing, according to Karnataka, which is concerned about a highly infectious strain that has sparked worldwide worry.
One of the two initial cases is a 46-year-old fully vaccinated doctor from Bengaluru who got symptoms of fever and body discomfort on November 21 and had no travel history. He admitted to the hospital the following day after testing positive, and his sample was also sent for genome sequencing the same day. However, he was let go three days later.
According to the Karnataka government, following extensive contact tracing, the patient seemed to have 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts. The other confirmed Omicron case is a 66-year-old South African resident who came in India with a negative report.
The individual, who had got both vaccine doses, tested positive and was asymptomatic when he arrived, so he was ordered to self-isolate. He flew to Dubai a week later after receiving a negative COVID testing from a private lab.
Negative test results were obtained from his 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts.
The World Health Organization has classified Omicron, which was discovered in South Africa, as a ‘variant of concern’. It is thought to have more than 50 mutations, including more than 30 on the spike protein, making it far more infectious than the Delta version.