With 14 more people testing positive for Omicron in Odisha, the tally of the Covid-19 variant in the state increased to 75 on Saturday, an official said.
The cases were detected from over 200 samples sent for genome sequencing. Six among the affected had foreign travel history, while the remaining eight have been infected by local contacts, Ajay Parida, the director of Institute of Life Science-Bhubaneswar said.
It has become a cause of worry for the state’s COVID managers in the wake of detection of the highly transmissible variant in the local community. Over 60 per cent of Omicron variants detected so far are found to be community transmission cases.
On 5 January, 24 more people had tested positive for Omicron in Odisha. On 21 December, two cases of Omicron were detected in Odisha for the first time, another two were detected on 23 December, four on 26 December, one on 29 December, five on 30 December and 23 on 2 January.
As many as 61 Omicron cases of the cumulative caseload of 75 have been detected in the last week.
Meanwhile the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has spread its wings to major parts of the state while the severity of the variant infection has been found to be less than the delta variant, much to the relief of Odisha’s COVID managers.
In another development, the state on Thursday had reported its maiden fatality linked to the Omicron mutant variant. The authorities however said it is yet to be ascertained whether the infected woman died due to the coronavirus variant or not.
It is heartening to note that the most of the Omicron infected individuals are not severely infected and majority of them were asymptomatic, said a senior health official adding that samples are being sent for genome sequencing in clusters where the test positivity rate is on a higher side.