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'No reason to panic': Union Health Ministry after two Omicron cases detected in Karnataka

05:05 PM Dec 02, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

The Union health Ministry on Thursday said 'not to panic' after two cases of Omicron variant were confirmed in India. The cases have been found in Karnataka through genome sequencing effort of INSACOG consortium of 37 laboratories established by the Ministry of Health.

"We need not panic, but awareness is absolutely essential. COVID apt behaviour is required," said Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR.

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"Two cases of Omicron variant have been reported in the country so far. Both cases are from Karnataka," Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Union health ministry, said at a press briefing today.

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"All primary contacts and secondary contacts of both the cases have been traced and are being tested," Agarwal further said.

The Omicron variant was first detected in southern Africa and since then has spread to 29 countries, the health ministry official informed today. The Indian government has already implemented strict measures for international travellers to check the spread of the new strain. Those measures have come into effect from Wednesday.

As part of the new guidelines, the Centre has made a negative RT-PCR test mandatory for travellers arriving from countries identified as 'at-risk' (where omicron cases have been reported). The central government also directed states to ramp up testing.

After battling a record jump in infections and deaths in April and May, coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases have come down substantially in India, where the Delta variant is the dominant strain.

With 9,765 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,46,06,541, while the active cases increased to 99,763, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday. The death toll climbed to 4,69,724 with 477 fresh fatalities including, 403 from Kerala, according to the data updated at 8 am.

Also Read: Covid-19: Will Omicron turn pandemic into endemic? Here's all you need to know

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