Omicron Panic After 2 South African Fliers Found Covid+ in Bengaluru; Tests Show Delta Infection

Two travellers from South Africa, who were tested positive at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, have been found infected with Delta variant of Covid-19.

Officials said that 584 people arrived at the Bengaluru airport from 10 high-risk countries. Meanwhile, 94 travellers arrived from South Africa.“Out of them (94 travellers), two who returned from South Africa (Indian nationals) tested positive for Covid-19 on 11 and 20 November respectively. We sent it for sequencing and came to know that it’s Delta variant,” Bangalore Rural DC K Srinivas said.

The two Indian passengers testing positive for Covid-19 had created panic among the health authorities over the new Omicron strain of Covid-19. Officials had said that the two, who were infected earlier this month, were quarantined and their samples sent for further investigation.

The Narendra Modi government on Saturday decided that samples from Covid-positive travellers who arrived in India in the last two weeks from 12 “at-risk” countries shall be sent for genome sequencing.

States have amped up surveillance of international travellers to check the new variant. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Saturday said that all the passengers coming to the city from that country will be quarantined. All travellers entering the state from any international destination shall be governed by directions of the Govt of India.

In Gujarat, passengers from countries categorized as ‘at at risk’ by the Union Health Ministry will have to undergo Covid-19 tests upon arrival in Gujarat if they are not fully vaccinated.

Nations currently on India’s ‘at-risk list are South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel, and European countries, including the UK.

The Omicron strain was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on Wednesday and has been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

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