The Tanzania returnee, who tested positive for COVID-19 Omicron variant, has mild symptoms as he had taken both doses of the vaccine, informed Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director of LNJP Hospital on Sunday.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Kumar said: “The Tanzania returnee experienced a sore throat, weakness and body ache. His contact tracing is being done. He had taken both doses of COVID-19 vaccine due to which he had mild symptoms.”
He further informed that a total of 23 patients who come from abroad are presently admitted at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, which is the designated centre for Omicron treatment.
Of these, 17 patients are foreign travellers who returned to Delhi and tested positive for COVID-19 while the rest six are their close contacts and awaiting their COVID test results, he said.
“All 17 COVID-19 patients admitted at LNJP are in stable condition. Most patients are asymptomatic. Four more people have been admitted today. A special team has been constituted to attend to Omicron cases,” said Dr Kumar.
According to the senior official, the capacity of the genome sequencing lab at LNJP Hospital has been increased from 30-40 samples per day to 100 samples per day.
In light of the Omicron infection, the number of beds will be increased as per requirement, he said.
The Omicron ward at the hospital presently has 40 beds and a separately dedicated team of doctors and staff has been deployed which functions round the clock.
“We have also made separate arrangements for ICU. If any patient has low oxygen levels, they can be given oxygen support in the ICU immediately. We have all the staff required,” Dr Kumar noted.
He has assured that if a situation arises which requires more beds, arrangements will be made at Ramlila Maidan.
Dr Kumar advised people not to panic in wake of the Omicron strain. “Even though it is spreading fast, but its symptoms are mild. The complications and death rate is also low. It is important to follow COVID appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated.”
Appealing to people to take their second dose of the COVID vaccine, Dr Kumar said, “If you have taken both doses of the vaccine, then any variant will not have much effect on your health. You will not need a hospital or ICU. The complications will be negligible, as this patient also has very mild symptoms.”
Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday said that the Tanzania returnee tested positive for Omicron as per preliminary reports. A final report will be received tomorrow.
“Samples of 12 out of 17 positive passengers were sent for genome sequencing and one of them, who arrived from Tanzania, tested Omicron positive according to preliminary reports,” the minister said.
This is the fifth case of Omicron reported in the country. The first two cases of Omicron were reported in Karnataka. On Saturday, the third and the fourth case of the infection were reported from Gujarat’s Jamnagar and Maharashtra’s Dombivli, respectively.
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’.
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.