3 Nigeria returnees suspected to be positive with Covid Omicron variant in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A youth, who had recently returned to Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district from Nigeria, has been tested positive for Covid-19.

Reportedly after he was found to be positive with Covid-19, he has developed symptoms of Omicron variant.

However, it is still uncertain whether he has been infected with the Covid Omicron variant.

On the other hand, the Odisha health department has suspected that two other Nigeria returnees are also likely to have been infected with the Omicron variant.

The samples of the three Omicron suspects have been sent to the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) in Bhubaneswar for genome sequencing to ascertain the variant of COVID-19.  All of them have been kept under isolation. The final report of the tests is awaited by the health department.

It is to be noted that out of the seven foreign returnees four have been tested negative for Omicron variant after the genome sequencing.

Stating that surveillance is the only way to trace out such cases, the Public Health Director, Niranjan Mishra said, “The same protocol that of Covid-19 is being followed for this new variant of the virus also. All symptomatic persons should go for Covid test. Those who are found Covid positive and if he/she migrated from the Omicron affected area, the sample will be sent for genome sequencing.”

Though the state administration has surveillance units all across the state, the community has a major role to play, he said.

The director appealed to the community to come forward and inform the local healthcare authority, if they came to know about any person suspected to be infected with the new variant of the coronavirus.

More than 1500 people from ‘at risk’ countries have come to Odisha so far. We are capable of handling Omicron said Mishra. “Preparations are on and regular reviews of necessary infrastructure are being done,” Niranjan Mishra.

Odisha on Sunday reported 193 fresh Covid-19 cases including 34 in the age group of 0 to 18. The state now has 1,894 active cases. Two Covid deaths were also reported by the state government in the same time span. With this, Covid-19 death toll went up to 8,444 in Odisha.

(With IANS inputs)

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