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Aggressive Covid Testing Helped, CM to Hold Meeting on Friday: K'taka Health Min on Omicron Cases

Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar. (Image: @Dr Sudhakar K/Twitter)

Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar. (Image: @Dr Sudhakar K/Twitter)

Sudhakar said big conventions, indoor gatherings should be restricted and everyone should maintain all precautions against Covid-19.

Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar on Thursday said the reports of the two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus was confirmed as a result of aggressive testing by state officials.

Warning against panic and rumours, Sudhakar said Chief Minister Basavaraja S Bommai will announce fresh Covid-19 guidelines soon. CM Bommai held a meeting with the union health minister and discussed steps to contain infections.

However, Sudhakar said big conventions, indoor gatherings should be restricted and everyone should maintain all precautions against Covid-19. A meeting chaired by the chief minister, health department and BBMP will be held tomorrow, he said. “We will take a call on what needs to be done further," he said.

Both the patients detected with the Omicron variant are men aged 66 years and 46 years with mild symptoms. Severe symptoms have not been noted, said the health minister.

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Out of two Omicron cases detected in the city, one is a South African national who has left the country after testing negative, while the other is a local with no travel history.

The 66-year-old South African national, arrived in Bengaluru on November 20 and was isolated in a hotel after he tested positive. He was subsequently tested separately at another laboratory, during which his reports came negative. He left the country for Dubai on November 27, as per his pre-decided schedule. All his 24 primary contacts and 240 secondary contacts have tested negative but are being monitored, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said.

The 46-year-old male with no travel history was initially kept under home isolation and was subsequently shifted to the hospital. Officials said he is stable and is recovering and is under watch. His 13 primary contacts and 205 secondary contacts have been tested and three primary and two secondary contacts have tested positive. The samples have been sent for genome sequencing.

Meanwhile, Sudhakar said the Omicron variant has been reported in more than 11 countries and experts have said the infected patients have reported mild symptoms but more information is needed. “It is left to WHO to give full information on the variant," he said.

(With inputs from Deepa Balakrishnan)

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first published:December 02, 2021, 20:13 IST