Maharashtra man who returned from South Africa tests positive for Omicron variant; first case in state: official

By PTI

MUMBAI: A 33-year-old man from Thane district near Mumbai who had arrived at the Delhi airport from South Africa via Dubai before flying to the Maharashtra capital has tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus, making him the first such case in Maharashtra and fourth in India, officials said on Saturday.

He had arrived in Delhi on November 23 and had given his samples for COVID-19 testing at the Delhi airport. He had then taken a flight to Mumbai, official sources said in Delhi.

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he man has a mild fever but no other symptoms of COVID-19 infection are seen in him, an official statement said. Cases with the Omicron variant have already been detected in Karnataka and Gujarat.

“A man from Kalyan Dombivli municipal corporation area has tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19. He is the first official case of the Omicron variant in the state,” Maharashtra health department director Dr Archana Patil told PTI in Mumbai.

“He came with a group of four people. We are tracing and tracking them. Their RT-PCR test, as well as genome sequencing, will be done,” she said.

In a statement, the Maharashtra health department said the infected man, a resident of the KDMC area, has not yet taken any vaccine. He is admitted to a COVID care centre in Dombivli.

“He returned from South Africa on November 24 to Mumbai via Dubai and Delhi. He has a mild fever but no other symptoms of COVID-19 infection are seen,” the department said.

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ll the 12 persons (relatives and co-travellers of the infected man) who were considered as “high risk” have been traced and tested for COVID-19. Their results are negative. Another 23 persons, including fellow passengers of the infected man, have tested negative as well, the department said.

Meanwhile, a 60-year-old resident of Pune in Maharashtra has tested positive for coronavirus after returning from Zambia but his genome sequencing revealed that he was infected with a Delta variant sub-lineage, it said. A KDMC official said the man who tested positive for the Omicron variant is an engineer.

“Six persons who had travelled from different countries to Dombivli-Kalyan area have tested positive for coronavirus so far and isolated,” said Dr Pratibha Panpatil, chief of Epidemic Control Cell, KDMC.

Four of them are from Nigeria and one each is from Russia and Nepal. “The condition of all the six is stable. They are asymptomatic and none of them had come from high-risk countries,” Dr Panpatil said.

According to the Maharashtra health department, 3,839 passengers who arrived from the “high risk” countries at the Mumbai international airport have undergone RT-PCR test along with 344 out of the 17,107 passengers who had arrived from other countries.

So far, only eight persons who landed in Mumbai have tested positive for COVID-19, it said. Amid concerns over the Omicron strain, the Maharashtra health department has appealed to people not to panic.

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