COVID-19: India now has 21 cases of Omicron

Nineteen persons tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19 December 4 and 5

By Taran Deol
Published: Sunday 05 December 2021
The Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Photo: istock
The Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Photo: istock The Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Photo: istock

Nineteen persons were detected to be infected with the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus (SAR-CoV-2) in India December 4 and 5, 2021, taking the total number of cases to 21.

A 72-year-old man, who is a resident of Jamnagar and recently returned from Zimbabwe, tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) December 5, 2021. His samples were then sent for genome sequencing.

“We have isolated him and are monitoring him. A micro containment zone has been made where he lives. We will do the tracing, testing of people in the area,” Manoj Aggarwal, additional chief secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Gujarat, said.


The fourth case is of a 33-year-old man who had returned from South Africa. He has not received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Twenty-five of his co-passengers on the Delhi-Mumbai flight — he landed in Delhi from South Africa — tested negative. He has reported a mild fever and is being treated in the Kalyan-Dombivali Covid care centre.

The fifth case of the omicron variant has been found in Delhi. The patient has been admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital. He has a travel history of Tanzania. His contacts are being traced and tested.

“Samples of 12 out of 17 positive passengers were sent for genome sequencing and one of them, who arrived from Tanzania, tested Omicron positive according to preliminary reports,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.

Seven more persons tested positive for the Omicron variant in Maharashtra later December 5. These are four people with a history of international travel and three of their contacts.

Nine persons tested positive for omicron in Jaipur, Rajasthan December 5 evening.

The first two cases of Omicron in India were detected on December 2 in Karnataka. Both are male and are 66 and 46 years of age respectively.

They had also received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are mildly symptomatic. None of the 66-year-old’s 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts have tested positive, while three primary and two secondary contacts of the 46-year-old tested positive.

The 66-year-old had a travel history of Dubai while the 46-year-old had none. Omicron has now spread to over 30 countries and was declared a variant of concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) November 26.

It is still unclear whether this variant is more infectious, causes severe disease or can evade immunity. However, experts have raised concerns about its unusual mutations.

Its detection also comes at a time when several countries have begun administrating booster doses in the backdrop of the waning immunity concept. However, India is yet to make any decisions about this.

On December 4, 7,363,706 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered, taking the total up to 1,265,344,975. Over 8,000 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours. 

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