Hyderabad: In a big jump in Omicron cases, Telangana on Saturday reported 12 new infections, taking the state’s tally to 20, a top health official said.
Ten of the new cases were reported among passengers who returned from other than ‘at risk’ countries, while two travellers from ‘at risk’ nations also tested positive for the new variant of Covid-19.
According to the director of public health, G. Srinivasa Rao, out of the 12 Omicron positive cases reported on Saturday, nine are of foreign origin and three are of Indian origin. Six of them had come from Kenya, two each from Somalia and the UAE, and one each from Ghana and Tanzania.
The total number of cases among fliers from other than ‘at risk’ countries rose to 17. However, the health department officials have put this number at 16 as a seven-year-old boy, who had tested positive, had left for Kolkata after arrival at Hyderabad Airport.
Till Friday, three Kenyans and one Sudanese were among those who had tested positive for Omicron. It was on December 15 that Telangana reported its first Omicron case.
Majority of the cases were detected among passengers from other than ‘at risk’ counties. Health authorities at Hyderabad Airport are conducting RT-PCR tests on 2 per cent of the passengers coming from other than ‘at risk’ countries.
As per the Centre’s guidelines, they are being allowed to go home even if they test Covid positive. However, their samples are being sent for genome sequencing. If they test Omicron positive, the authorities are tracing them on the basis of the address provided by them on arrival at the airport.
A total of 7,206 passengers arrived at Hyderabad Airport from 10 ‘at risk’ countries since December 1. Of them, 25 were found Covid positive and their samples were sent for genome sequencing. Four of these 25 have tested positive for Omicron.