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The Nagpur district in Maharashtra reported its first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant with a 40-year-old man testing positive, said civic commissioner Radhakrishnan B on Sunday. 

“The man, a local resident, came from a country in West Africa around eight days back. On his arrival, he tested positive for Covid-19. After that he was admitted to a city hospital and his sample was sent for genome sequencing. The report that came today confirmed that he is infected with the Omicron variant," said the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner.

But all his contacts have tested negative for the infection, he said. 

The patient's condition is stable and he is keeping well, the commissioner said, adding, "We will be monitoring him closely."

With this, the state's tally of the strain reached 18 while the country of the whole has detected 37 cases of it so far. 

Earlier in this day, Chandigarh reported its first case of Omicron after swab samples of a fully vaccinated 20-year-old male passenger from Italy, revealed the presence of the new variant. 

“A 20-year-old male, resident of Italy, had landed in India on November 22. He had come to visit his relatives in Chandigarh. He was under home quarantine and was found Covid-19 positive on retesting on 1 December," said the Chandigarh health department.

"As per the protocol, he was then put under institutional quarantine. His Covid-19 positive sample was sent for whole-genome sequencing to NCDC, New Delhi," it added. 

Prior to that, Andhra Pradesh also detected its first case of Omicron and Karnataka detected its third case.

The first two cases were reported in Karnataka last week, where a 66-year-old South African flyer and a 46-year-old Bengaluru doctor with no travel history had tested positive.

Following that on 4 December, a 72-year-old NRI from Gujarat and a 33-year-old man from Maharashtra's Thane tested positive for the new strain.

The country had detected 17 cases of the Omicron variant on last Sunday – nine persons in Rajasthan capital Jaipur, seven in Maharashtra's Pune district and a fully vaccinated man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania.

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

On 26 November, the WHO named the new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.

To deal with this, several countries have imposed travel restrictions and local lockdown.

India has added several countries to the “at-risk" list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.

 

 

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