Fri, 21 Jan 2022

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], December 2 (ANI): As Karnataka reported two cases of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said that the state government is being very cautious and it will prepare new Standard operating procedures (SoPs) to tackle the new variant.

The Karnataka CM also mentioned that he will hold a meeting with experts on Friday.

The Centre, earlier in the day, informed that two people have tested positive for the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 in Karnataka.

A 46-year-old male and a 66-year-old male were those who contracted the variant.

"We are holding a meeting tomorrow with all these details. We will come out with new SoPs as far as the Omicron is concerned. We are trying to get the experts' view and Government of India's guidelines on this," Bommai informed the media personnel here.

"We are very cautious. I have discussed this with Union Health Minister. He said he will give further details over the two Omicron cases. Our duty is now to track and trace such strains and their contacts wherever it is found. We are already tracking and tracing international travellers," he added.

Meanwhile, three primary contacts and two secondary contacts of the 46-year-old Karnataka man who was found infected with the Omicron variant, have also tested positive for the COVID-19 and their samples have been sent for further genome sequencing.

The BBMP has informed that their samples have been sent for genome sequencing and the results are awaited.

The new COVID-19 variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.

Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.

The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.

India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has informed that the Omicron variant can be five times more infectious than the other known variants of the novel coronavirus. (ANI)

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