Credit - ANI
New Delhi: Omicron strikes India as two cases of the new COVID-19 variants have been detected in the country. The Ministry of health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Thursday said both the Omicron cases have been reported in Karnataka. The patients are two men aged 66 and 46.
"Two cases of Omicron detected in Karnataka, so far, through genome sequencing effort of INSACOG consortium of 37 laboratories established by the Ministry of Health. We need not panic, but awareness is absolutely essential," ICMR DG Balram Bhargava said during Health Ministry briefing today.
The Health Ministry said the identities of both the positive patients will not be disclosed for now to protect their privacy. All primary, secondary contacts, who came in contact with the two patients have been traced and are being tested, the ministry said.
"Let us not fear and panic and be more responsible. Awareness is absolutely essential. Follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, avoid gatherings," Joint Secretary of Union Home Ministry Lav Agarwal said.
"No severe symptoms of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 reported so far," Lav Agarwal, adding that as of now, all Omicron related cases are found to have mild symptoms. No severe symptom has been noted in patients in other nations too.
"WHO has said that its emerging evidence is being studied," Lav Agarwal added.
The Health Ministry has been emphasising that at the current stage, science says vaccination is the most critical tool to be used.
NITI Aayog, Member-Health, VK Paul, said an increase in COVID-19 vaccine uptake is 'need of the hour' and urged people to not delay in getting fully vaccinated.
At the briefing, the Health Ministry also informed that around 29 countries have reported 373 cases of Omicron variant so far.
As many as 30 international airports have been sensitised, linked to labs for faster testing, the Health Ministry informed.
"There will be no drastic curbs any time soon. The situation is well under control," assured Dr VK Paul.