Panaji (Goa) [India], December 8 (ANI): Russian returnees who have reached Goa via Delhi are suspected to be infected with COVID-19 variant 'Omicron', informed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday.
"We have suspected Omicron cases who are Russia returnees to Goa via Delhi. We can't call them Omicron cases directly," said Sawant.
The samples of suspected cases have been sent for genome sequencing, results of which are awaited.
"All of them are in isolation. They are tourists who had landed from Russia to Delhi followed by Goa. We admitted them as suspected (Omicron) cases after 12 days. They are Covid positive, their samples sent to Pune (for genome sequencing)," added Sawant.
Earlier on Monday, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane had also informed that five sailors who arrived in the state in a merchant's vessel are suspected to be Omicron positive and have been kept in isolation.
Several cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been detected in the country with Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Delhi reporting new cases.
A new variant of COVID-19 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'.
India has added several countries to the list from where travelers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection. (ANI)