Thursday, December 23, 2021

1 in 5 testing Covid positive at Delhi's IGI airport with Omicron variant

New Delhi: Nearly one out of every five travellers testing Covid-positive at IGI Airport is infected with the Omicron variant, tests conducted at Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology (IGIB) show.

IGIB is one of the lead labs where genome sequencing is being carried out to identify the variant responsible for Covid-19 in international travellers. A senior scientist said every day 15-20 samples were being sequenced at IGIB and nearly 20% were positive for the Omicron variant.

The first case of Omicron was detected in Delhi on December 2 in a 37-year-old man who had returned from Tanzania. In the last 20 days, this number has gone up to 57. Three new cases of this variant, which is three times more transmissible than the Delta variant, were confirmed in the last 24 hours.

Initially, the Omicron variant was limited to international travellers, but epidemiologists said the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases over the past week suggested that it may have spread in the community too. “We have 17 Omicron patients admitted in the hospital. Of them, three have no travel history,” a senior doctor at Lok Nayak Hospital told TOI. The state-run hospital is designated for isolation and treatment of Omicron cases in Delhi.

The capital accounts for nearly 27% of the total 213 cases reported in the country. After Delhi, Mumbai has maximum (30) cases among all metropolitan cities.

Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital, said Delhi and Mumbai both had the busiest airports where hundreds of international travellers arrived daily. That was the reason behind the high number of cases in the two cities. He added that most Omicron patients were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.

23/12/21 Durgesh Nandan Jha/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment