New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As concerns over the newly found COVID-19 variant, Omicron, grew stronger, a third case of the new and more infectious variant has been detected in India. A 72-year-old man, who returned to Jamnagar from Zimbabwe and tested COVID-19 positive, has been diagnosed to be infected with the Omicron variant today, Gujarat Health Department said. 

"A person is found omicron positive in Jamnagar. We've isolated him & are monitoring him. A micro containment zone has been made where he is living. In the area, we will do the tracing, testing of people", Manoj Aggarwal, ACS, Health & Family Welfare Dept, Gujarat said. 

Earlier, the Gujarat health department on Friday informed that the samples obtained from the Zimbabwe returnee have been sent for laboratory testing to identify whether the Covid-19 patient has been infected with the new mutant Omicron or not.

"The samples obtained from the 72-year-old person, who arrived from Zimbabwe, have been sent to the Biotechnological Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. It will take at least 1 to 2 days for the results to arrive and ascertain whether the person was infected with the new mutant omicron or not", an official had said.

With this, the tally of Omicron cases in India has reached 3. Earlier, 2 cases of the newly found Omicron variant were detected in Karnataka where a 46-year-old man and a 66-year-old man were diagnosed with Omicron variant. 

A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

The WHO said Omicron initially detected in South Africa, may spread more quickly than other forms of the virus. India expects the Omicron variant to cause less severe illness, due to rising vaccination rates and high prior exposure to the Delta variant that infected nearly 70% of the population by July.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'. Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.

The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 30 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said. India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan