Chandigarh reports 1st Omicron case, man with travel history tests positive


Representative image | Photo: ANI

Chandigarh: Chandigarh has reported its first case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus as a 20-year-old fully vaccinated man, who had come from Italy to meet his relatives here, tested positive for the infection, Health department officials said Sunday.

Later, in a statement issued Sunday evening they said that he “has now tested as Covid negative today”, but his five family contacts have tested positive for the virus, but it's not clear if they are also infected with the Omicron variant.

Earlier, Kerala has reported their first case of Omicron variant in Ernakulam district.

They said the man is currently in institutional quarantine.

“He was currently living in Italy. He had come to see some of his relatives here recently. His report for whole genomic sequencing was received late night on December 11 and found positive for Omicron variant," Director, Health Services, Chandigarh, Dr Suman Singh told PTI over the phone during the day.

The man, a resident of Italy, had landed in India on November 22, according to an official statement.

The health department also issued a statement late Sunday evening in which it said that “the 20-year-old male, who reported positive for Omicron variant, has now tested as Covid negative today”.

“His seven family contacts who had been quarantined and were negative earlier were retested today for Covid-19. Out of these five have tested as positive and one as negative. The report of one family member is awaited,” said the late evening statement.

As per the statement issued earlier in the day, the man “had come to visit his relatives in Chandigarh. He was under home quarantine and was found Covid positive on retesting on December 1.

“According to the protocol, he was then put under institutional quarantine. His Covid positive sample was sent for whole genome sequencing to NCDC, New Delhi. His seven high-risk family contacts were put under quarantine and were tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR method. All of them tested negative (earlier)," the statement had said.

It said the man has been asymptomatic throughout. "He is fully inoculated with Pfizer vaccine which he got in Italy. He has been kept in isolation for the last 11 days.”

"His report for whole genomic sequencing was received late night on December 11 and has been found positive for Omicron variant," the statement said.

It further said he was tested for COVID-19 again on December 12 by RT-PCR method, in which he has tested negative now.

"If he tests negative, he will be put under home quarantine for seven days..,” the statement earlier said.

His seven high-risk contacts were tested on Sunday as a precautionary measure, the statement noted.

The Health department appealed to all citizens to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and asked those who have not taken the coronavirus vaccine or have had only one dose to complete their vaccination at the earliest. PTI

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