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India reports first Omicron cases

Published : Friday, 3 December, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 330

NEW DELHI, Dec 2: India announced its first two cases of the Omicron Covid variant on Thursday, months after a devastating wave of the virus killed more than 200,000 people around the country.
Top health ministry official Luv Agarwal said two men in southern Karnataka state, aged 66 and 46, had tested positive for the variant. "As per the protocols all their primary and secondary contacts have been traced and are being tested," he told a press briefing.
India has yet to impose new blanket international travel bans but on Monday the health ministry
ordered all inbound travellers from "countries at-risk" to undergo mandatory post-arrival Covid testing, along with the random testing of other international arrivals.
The nation's biggest city Mumbai on Wednesday imposed mandatory seven-day quarantines for all passengers arriving from at-risk countries. Neither of the two identified cases had been in contact with each other and one had no recent travel history, authorities in Karnataka's capital Bangalore told reporters. Gautam Menon, a professor at India's Ashoka University who has worked on Covid-19 modelling, said it was likely the Omicron variant entered India before it was first reported in South Africa.    -AFP

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