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The Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), deemed highly contagious and capable of undergoing frequent mutations, has now made its way to First detected in southern Africa, the heavily mutated Omicron variant is setting alarm bells across nations and spreading at a rapid pace, forcing countries to impose mobility and travel restrictions.

The union health ministry today said India has reported two cases of the new variant, both middle-aged men from Karnataka. All the primary and secondary contacts of the people were being traced and will be identified soon, government official said at a briefing today.

Apart from India, Omicron has spread to 29 other countries, taking the total count omicron detected countries to 30. As of today, at least 375 cases have been reported in these countries.

The first confirmed case of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in the United States has been detected in a person in California, yesterday.

Here's a list of countries where the Omicron variant has spread so far:

India - 2 cases

South Africa - 183 cases

Botswana - 19 cases

The Netherlands - 16 cases

Hong Kong - 7 cases

Israel - 2 cases

Belgium - 2 cases

United Kingdom - 32 cases

Germany - 10 cases

Australia - 8 cases

Italy - 4 cases

Czechia - 1 case

Denmark - 6 cases

Austria - 4 cases

Canada - 7 cases

Sweden - 4 cases

Switzerland - 3 cases

Spain - 2 cases

Portugal - 13 cases

Japan - 2 cases

Reunion (France) - 1 case

Ghana - 33 cases

South Korea - 3 cases

Nigeria - 3 cases

Brazil - 2 cases

Norway - 2 cases

United States of America - 1 case

Saudi Arabia - 1 case

Ireland - 1 case

United Arab Emirates - 1 case

India has revised its guidelines for international travellers coming to India, which includes seperate norms for travellers coming from at-risk countries and the rest others. The guidelines will be effective from 1 December.

For travellers coming from at-risk countries, apart from the mandatory 72-hour test before arrival, they need to take an additional RT-PCR test on arrival. If the test result is positive, he or she will be treated in line with the clinical management protocols, and the sample will be sent to related labs for genomic sequencing.

If the test report is negative, the traveller will be sent to home quarantine for seven days and will need to take an RT-PCR test on the eighth day.

For travellers coming from other than at-risk countries, random samples will be taken from 2% of the travellers for RT-PCR testing on arrival the airport keeping in view the speed at which Omicron variant is spreading.

The government has also put on hold its plan to resume regular international flights from 15 December, in view of emerging threat from Omicron, and the revised date will be notified in due course.

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