No case of Omicron in India yet: Union govt

The new coronavirus variant Omicron has not been reported in India yet, Union Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed Rajya Sabha, three days after it was declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization

“The Omicron variant has been detected in 14 countries so far. There is no case of Omicron in India yet. We are immediately checking suspicious cases and conducting genome sequencing. We are also taking all possible precautions,” minister said.

“We have learnt a lot during the pandemic. We have resources and labs to check. All measures have been taken to ensure this variant does not reach the country,” he added.

Minister further claimed that the Union government has issued an advisory based on the global developments related to the new variant and is keeping a keen watch on ports.

Studies are being conducted on the Omicron, he said.

Omicron, designated is potentially more contagious than previous variants, although experts do not know yet if it will cause more or less severe COVID-19 compared with other strains.

The variant was first discovered by scientists in South Africa and has also since been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.