German national tests coronavirus positive in MP; sample sent for genome sequencing


PTI, Dec 7, 2021, 11:32 AM IST

Amid the concern over Omicron COVID-19 variant, a 28-year-old German national has tested positive for coronavirus at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and his sample has been sent for genome sequencing, an official said on Tuesday.

Since the man attended a marriage ceremony here on Sunday evening, his contact history was traced and samples of at least 50 people were collected for testing, district contact officer Dr D Mohanty said.

So far, there has been no case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in MP. After the German national arrived here on Sunday from New Delhi, he was found negative for the coronavirus in the Rapid Antigen Test at the airport.

Later, his RT-PCR test report came out positive on Monday, Mohanty said.

The man was subsequently kept in isolation at a COVID-19 care centre of a local government medical college, he said. His sample has been sent for genome sequencing to ascertain whether he is infected with the new ‘Omicron’ variant or not, the official said. Cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in neighbouring states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, as well as in Delhi and Karnataka.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) last month named the COVID-19 virus variant detected in South Africa and some other countries as Omicron and classified it as a ‘Variant of Concern’.

Health experts have expressed possibilities that owing to the genetic modification in the virus, it may possess some specific characteristics.

While the transmissibility of infection seems to have increased because of the new variant, there is still not enough clarity on whether or not it will cause severe disease and whether it will evade immunity, the WHO had said.

On Monday, the COVID-19 tally in Madhya Pradesh rose to 7,93,258 with the addition of 17 cases, while the death toll remained unchanged at 10,528.

The number of recoveries in MP increased to 7,82,593, leaving the state with 137 active cases, as per official data.

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