According to the city’s Covid-19 nodal officer, whole genome sequencing of a 71-year-old NRI who arrived in Gujarat’s Jamnagar city from Zimbabwe and tested positive for Covid-19 on December 2 found that the patient is infected with the Omicron variant. The patient’s samples were submitted to two different labs: one to Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre, which found the Omicron variation, and another to NIV Pune. On Monday, NIV is anticipated to release its full genome sequencing findings.
This is the third case of Omicron found in India. Two persons in Karnataka, a 46-year-old doctor and a 66-year-old South African national, were discovered to be infected with the new type earlier this week.
In other news, the Centre has said that it anticipates the severity of the Omicron variant of coronavirus to be low in the country given the fast pace of vaccination and high exposure to the Delta variant. Speaking in the Parliament, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday highlighted that a decision on booster dose and Covid jabs for children will be taken on the basis of scientific guidance from experts.
Top genome scientists, meanwhile, have recommended a booster dose of the Covid vaccine for those above the age of 40 years with priority for high-risk and high-exposure populations, according to the weekly bulletin of Indian SARS-CoV2 Genomics Sequencing Consortium (INSACOG), a network of national testing laboratories set up by the Government to monitor genomic variations of the virus.