India records 8,603 new COVID-19 cases, 415 deaths; active infections stand at 99,974


INDORE: Amid rising concerns over the Omicron variant of coronavirus, a 14-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Nigeria five days back, a health official said on Saturday.

Their samples are being sent for genome sequencing, he said.

The siblings, who were found infected, had gone to Nigeria with their mother to meet their father and returned to Indore on December 6 via Delhi, said Dr Amit Malakar, nodal officer for COVID-19 in the district.

Their father works in Nigeria, while they live with their mother in Indore, he said.

“Although the mother of the two children was not found infected with coronavirus, we have taken her sample for re-examination as a precaution,” he said.

Malakar said that after the test reports, the infected siblings have been admitted to a hospital and their samples are being sent to Delhi’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for genome sequencing to know whether they are carrying the Omicron strain.

While South Africa remains the epicentre of the Omicron variant outbreak, these cases have been confirmed in at least eight other African countries – Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The central government, while expressing concern over the decline in usage of face masks in the country, had on Friday said that the all India tally of Omicron variant cases has gone up to 32.