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South Africa Returnee Tests Covid-19 Positive in Maharashtra's Thane

The new coronavirus variant is known to carry 50 mutations overall, including more than 30 on the spike protein alone. (Reuters)

The new coronavirus variant is known to carry 50 mutations overall, including more than 30 on the spike protein alone. (Reuters)

However, it was not immediately known if the returnee is positive with the new variant of Covid, Omicron.

A returnee from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19 in Dombivli area of Maharashtra’s Thane district on Sunday, triggering concerns. However, it was not immediately known if the returnee is positive with the new variant of Covid, Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa.

Omicron has sparked concerns worldwide, with several nations closing borders on South Africa and its neighbouring nations to contain the spread of the variant having a “horrific" spike profile. The World Health Organization has declared Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’ and said it could take several weeks to know if there are considerable changes in transmissibility, severity or implications for Covid vaccines, tests, and treatments.

So far, the new variant has been found in Australia, Israel, Botswana, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Britain and Hong Kong.

India, meanwhile, on Sunday revised the norms for international fliers, mandating Covid test upon arrival. The rules are applicable for fliers from ‘at-risk’ nations.

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first published:November 28, 2021, 22:49 IST