New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Thursday informed that two cases of Omicron Variant have been reported in the country. “Two cases of Omicron Variant reported in the country so far. Both cases from Karnataka,” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry said while addressing the media. The cases have been detected through genome sequencing effort of INSACOG consortium of 37 laboratories established by the Ministry of Health.Also Read - Will Schools in Delhi Reopen as COVID Cases Decline? Sisodia Says Will Discuss Matter With DDMA Tomorrow

“All Omicron related cases are found to have mild symptoms so far…In all such cases in the country and across the world so far, no severe symptom has been noted. WHO has said that its emerging evidence is being studied,”Lav Agarwal further added. Also Read - COVID Restrictions in These 10 States of India For Domestic Travellers, Read On

When asked whether the government is mulling to ban international flights amid the rising concerns over the new covid variant, VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog said, “The Omicron variant of COVID19 is being carefully examined, will take decisions on the basis of it, it’s an ongoing discussion within our technical and scientific circles.” Also Read - Covishield and Covaxin To Get Regular Market Approval From DCGI Soon, Each Dose Likely To be Capped at Rs 275

The government also informed that around 29 countries have reported 373 cases of Omicron Variant so far. “Surge in cases being noted across the world on an overall basis, Europe reported 70% of the cases in the world in last one week. In the week ending 28 Nov, around 2.75 Lakh new cases and over 31,000 deaths reported in European region,” Lav Agarwal said.

While speaking about the new travel guidelines set by the government for the international passengers, Lav Agarwal said, ” Passengers arriving from ‘at risk’ countries need to undergo RT-PCR test on arrival. If found positive for COVID, they’ll be treated under clinical management protocol. If tested negative they’ll follow, home quarantine for 7 days.”

Here are some of the key takeaways from Union Ministry’s press briefing:

  • Passengers arriving from ‘at risk’ countries need to undergo RT-PCR test on arrival. If found positive for COVID, they’ll be treated under clinical management protocol. If tested negative they’ll follow, home quarantine for 7 days.
  • Omicron variant of COVID19 is being carefully examined, will take decisions on the basis of it, it’s an ongoing discussion within our technical and scientific circles: VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog over ban on international flights, booster dose and pediatric vaccination.
  • Around 29 countries have reported 373 cases of Omicron Variant so far: Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry
  • Surge in cases being noted across the world on an overall basis, Europe reported 70% of the cases in the world in last one week. In the week ending 28 Nov, around 2.75 Lakh new cases & over 31,000 deaths reported in European region: Govt
  • In comparison to this, Southeast Asian region that includes India and 11 other countries, reported only 1.2 Lakh cases in last one week – only 3.1% of the cases of the world. A decrease in cases is being reported in the Southeast Asian region: Govt
  • There is an increase in 2nd dose of vaccination. Several initiatives were taken to increase number of vaccination across country. Number of COVID19 cases increasing in Europe region, 70% of global COVID19 cases are reported in the region: Govt
  • Kerala and Maharashtra are the two states that have more than 10,000 actives cases – 55% of the cases of the country are reported in these two states: Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry