India’s Omicron tally reaches 21 with 9 cases detected in Rajasthan, 7 more in Maharashtra, Health News, ET HealthWorld

India's Omicron tally reaches 21 with 9 cases detected in Rajasthan, 7 more in MaharashtraThe total number of positive cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in India has reached 21 with nine new cases detected in Rajasthan and seven more in Maharashtra on Sunday.

Four members of a family and five others have tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus, an official from Rajasthan government stated. Health Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said the genome sequencing of their swab samples confirmed it. He said the family members had recently returned from South Africa.

Earlier in the evening, Maharashtra state officials disclosed that four persons who returned from foreign tours and three of their close contacts have tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19, a Maharashtra health official said. With this, the total number of people infected with the new mutant variant has risen to eight in the state.

Most of those who tested positive either recently arrived from African countries or were in contact with such people. With this, four states and the national capital have now reported cases of the potentially more contagious variant which has sparked a fresh alert across the world.

In India, the first two cases of Omicron, that was first detected in South Africa, were reported in Karnataka. Besides Maharashtra and Rajasthan, Delhi on Sunday reported its first case of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

According to the Centre, the countries designated as “at-risk” are European countries, including the UK, and South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.
Also, two percent of the passengers arriving on flights from other countries will be subjected to the test randomly.

In another inportant development, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is scheduled to meet on December 6 to deliberate the issue of administering ‘additional’ dose of COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised individuals.

A booster dose is given to an individual after a predefined period when the immune response due to primary vaccination is presumed to have declined, while an additional dose is given to immunocompromised and immunosuppressed individuals when a primary schedule of vaccination does not provide adequate protection from the infection and disease.

In another related development, the Serum Institute of India (SII) sought from the drug regulator an approval for Covishield as a booster dose against the novel coronavirus infection.