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Odisha: Omicron tally rises to eight

Four foreign returnees had earlier tested positive for Coronavirus and were admitted to Covid hospitals. Their samples sent to Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) for genome sequencing were detected carrying mutant variant infection.

SNS | Bhubaneshwar |

The coastal State on Sunday logged four more cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, taking the tally of the variant of concern to eight with four returnees from ‘countries-at-risk’ testing positive for the Omicron.

Four foreign returnees had earlier tested positive for Coronavirus and were admitted to Covid hospitals. Their samples sent to the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) for genome sequencing were detected carrying the mutant variant infection.

The Institute of Life Sciences (ILS)-Bhubaneswar confirmed the detection of the new variant cases on the basis of genome sequencing clinical test reports. On 21 and 23 December, the State had reported the first four cases of the variant infection.

The Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) in Bhubaneswar is the nodal agency for carrying out the genome sequencing of the positive cases of coronavirus infection.

Four new Omicron infected persons had travel history to Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. Their health condition is stable, said health officials on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the State government is subjecting all foreign returnees to the State with the RT-PCR test. The samples of those (foreign returnees) testing positive are being sent for genome sequencing to determine the possible infection of the mutant variant, the officials said.

Since 21 November, more than 9,000 foreign returnees have arrived in the State. Of them, 3,700 had undergone RT-PCR tests with 14 samples testing covid positive.

Of those samples, 8 have so far been found to have been infected with Omicron after the genome sequencing. The diagnostic reports of four samples are still awaited; they said adding that Bhubaneswar has recorded the arrival of 900 foreign returnees.