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Omicron: 9 international travellers in Mumbai test Covid positive; 1 from South Africa

 Published on Dec 03, 2021 10:50 AM IST| Written by Sharmita Kar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, New Delhi

Samples of all nine international travellers have been sent for further tests to determine the coronavirus variant they are infected with.


Amid a growing omicron scare, nine international travellers, including one from South Africa, who arrived at Mumbai International Airport between November 10 and December 2 have tested positive for Covid-19, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said on Friday. 


Samples of all nine travellers have been sent for genome sequencing for further investigation regarding the variant, BMC added.


This comes a day after India detected its first Omicron cases when the samples of two Covid-19 positive fliers from South Africa to Bengaluru came out positive for the new worrisome variant. 


A new study published on Thursday by scientists in South Africa suggested that Omicron is three times more likely to cause reinfection in a person compared to Delta or Beta strains. 


The Union government, however, has asked citizens not to panic but follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated without delay.


The Centre has already imposed various restrictions for stringent surveillance at the airports and tightened testing measures.


Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government dismissed media reports claiming Omicron cases being detected in the state. “The passenger from Singapore arrived at Tiruchirappally at 3.30 AM (on Friday). He tested positive and has been shifted to the local medical college where he has been quarantined. His sample will undergo genome sequencing and we have a facility here… it will also be sent to a lab in Bengaluru and only after that result would we come to know if he is infected with Omicron," state health minister Ma Subramanian, told reporters in Chennai.


India registered 9,216 new COVID-19 infections on Friday. Deaths rose by 391 to a total of 470,115, while the active cases stand at 99,976, the Union health ministry data showed.