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Odisha’s first Omicron cases detected: Two foreign returnees test positive

The Institute of Life Sciences (ILS)-Bhubaneswar on Tuesday confirmed the detection of the new variant on the basis of genome sequencing clinical test reports.

SNS | Bhubaneshwar |

Two persons, both foreign-returnees, in Odisha have tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the State’s first case of the new variant of concern.

The Institute of Life Sciences (ILS)-Bhubaneswar on Tuesday confirmed the detection of the new variant on the basis of genome sequencing clinical test reports.

ILS-Bhubaneswar Director Ajay Parida confirmed the detection. However, he refused to divulge further details.

At least 7 people returning to Odisha from the ‘countries-at-risk’ had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 with the samples drawn from them sent for genome sequencing to ascertain whether they were the carriers of the Omicron variant of the pandemic.

Four of the seven samples had tested negative for Omicron variant infection while the confirmatory report of another sample of a covid-infected foreign returnee is still awaited, said an official of the health department.