The first two cases were reported in Karnataka, followed by one in Jamnagar (Gujarat) and another in Maharashtra.
In Jaipur, nine persons who took part in a wedding on November 28 have tested positive for the Omicron variant, health officials said. Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said that of the nine, four had arrived from South Africa a few days ago.
At least 100 people had turned up for the November 28 wedding; health officials have so far collected samples of 34 people. “Of these, Omicron has been confirmed in nine cases through genome sequencing while 25 others tested negative for Covid,” said Galriya.
While the four who flew in from South Africa are admitted at the Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS), the others are in home isolation. RUHS superintendent Dr Ajeet Singh said the four admitted there are “asymptomatic” and the five in home isolation too “are doing fine”.
In Pune, six people from a family in the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal area — including a 44-year-old woman who landed in Maharashtra on November 24 from Lagos, Nigeria, with her two daughters, aged 12 and 18 — were detected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Her 45-year-old brother and two of his daughters, aged 7 and 18 months old, have also tested positive for the Omicron variant after a genome sequencing conducted at the National Institute of Virology, Pune. All the three infected adults in the family are fully vaccinated — two of them with Covishield and one with Covaxin.
While the 44-year-old has mild symptoms, the other five patients are asymptomatic. All the patients are being treated at Jijamata Hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad and are stable, officials said.
“We traced 13 of the close contacts of the three international passengers, of whom three have been identified with Omicron,” said Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas.
Besides six from the family, a 47-year-old from Pune also tested positive for the Omicron variant. He had visited Finland for six days between November 18 and 25, and was tested after he reported mild fever on November 29. After he was found to be Covid positive, a genome sequencing done at the National Chemical Laboratory confirmed the presence of Omicron. He was fully vaccinated with Covishield.
The Delhi case is of a man in his 30s who came to the city on a flight from Tanzania and was admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital in Delhi after testing positive for Covid at the Indira Gandhi International Airport last week.
“Preliminary genome testing reports of 12 out of 17 Covid patients at LNJP have come and one of them has tested positive for the Omicron variant. The other 11 samples are negative for the new variant. The patient came from Tanzania. His close contacts during the flight are also isolated at LNJP Hospital. There were 17 Covid patients who were sent from the airport to LNJP (since the new regulations for passengers from ‘at-risk countries’ were put in place). Their contacts – six so far – are also under observation at the hospital and are being tested,” said Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
According to officials, the patient who came from Tanzania was fully vaccinated. “He has no symptoms,” said a senior doctor at the hospital.
The 11 other patients who have tested positive for Covid but not the Omicron variant will not be discharged from the hospital. “They will remain under observation for some days for now. At present, none of them are critically ill,” the doctor said.
Passengers flying into Delhi from ‘at-risk countries’ such as South Africa and UK have to get tested at the airport on arrival and wait for their results. If they test positive for coronavirus, they are sent to LNJP, the biggest Delhi government hospital in the city.