Bengaluru: As two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus were detected in Bengaluru on Thursday, the state government has turned its alert mode on to check the new infections of Covid-19. Of the two cases reported, one is a South African national who has left the country after testing negative, while the other is a local with no travel history, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said on Thursday.Also Read - 'Isolation Facility' Not Mandatory For COVID Positive Foreign Arrivals Starting Today. Details Here

The city civic body said five contacts of the local person have also tested positive. The patients have been isolated and their samples have been sent for genome testing, they said amid concerns over the highly infectious strain that has set off global alarm. Also Read - Bengaluru Schools Reopening: Karnataka Govt to Take Call on January 29, Says Education Minister

The 46-year-old who tested positive for Omicron is a health worker from Bengaluru who developed symptoms of fever and body ache on November 21. He tested positive the following day and was admitted to hospital; his sample was sent for genome sequencing on the same day. However, three days later he was discharged. His vaccination status is unclear at this time. Also Read - Weekend Curfew Ends In Karnataka, Night Restrictions Continue | Read Latest Guidelines

“Please note that second person has no travel history, so there may be chances of more people having the infection. There is need to be vigilant about the this new variant,” BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said. Speaking to reporters here, he said the administration is in constant consultation with experts regarding measures to control the spread of this virus, and “I only say precautionary measures have to be borne in mind, they are same for any variant.”

“Naturally after these cases have come across there is need to take more measures, which will be decided by the government after considering all aspects and consulting experts,” he added.

(With agency inputs)