Srinagar: The first three cases of Omicron variant infection in J&K were confirmed today, from a ‘cluster of cases’ in Jammu, J&K Government said today. No report of a sample sent from Kashmir for genome sequencing was available yet.
The cases of Omicron have been confirmed from many states in India, the total count of people infected with this new Variant of Concern (VoC) crossing 200 on Tuesday.
Today, J&K joined the list of states with a confirmed case of the variant. Additional Chief Secretary J&K Government (Health and Medical Education), Vivek Bhardwaj said three of the samples taken from a cluster of cases in Jammu were found to be infected with Omicron Variant by a genome sequencing lab.
He said the people had no history of foreign travel and their samples were genome sequenced upon suspicion. “We are sampling those with foreign travel history for genomic investigations and also taking random samples for sequencing,” he said.
Bhardwaj said that no sample from Kashmir division was found to have the Omicron variant yet. “Many samples have been sent for genome sequencing and reports are awaited,” he said. On December 1, the first case of a person returning from abroad was sent for genome sequencing. The reports are awaited, an official said.
The Omicron variant has been reported to be “very transmissible”. Today, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote that Omicron is at least three times more transmissible than Delta. “Hence, even greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making and strict and prompt containment action are required at the local and district level,” he said.
The Health and Medical Education Department on its official twitter handle wrote that the samples found to have Omicron variant in Jammu cluster had been sent for sequencing on November 30. “RTPCR of entire locality ordered” it wrote.
The genome sequencing is carried out by a group of approved laboratories Indian SARS CoV 2 Genomics Consortium or INSACOG is a network of 38 government owned labs established to monitor genomic variations of the virus that causes COVID19.
A health official said two of the people found to have the new VoC were sampled from an area that was declared a micro-containment zone on 04 November while the third one was admitted at a hospital.
Meanwhile, one person lost life to COVID19 today, J&K Government said while 104 fresh cases were confirmed in the UT.
Official bulletin on COVID19 by J&K Government today said one person from Kashmir division succumbed to COVID19 while no death from Jammu division was reported. No case of Mucormycosis has been reported in the UT, the official bulletin on COVID19 said.
The number of fresh cases reported today was 108, showing a falling trail of cases. Of the new cases, 78 were from Kashmir division and 26 from Jammu division. There were 40 new cases in Srinagar and 15 in Kupwara. District Jammu had 18 new cases. In the past 24 hours, 46173 tests were reported in the UT.
The number of recoveries reported today was 139. Of these, 110 were from Kashmir division and 29 from Jammu division. The number of active cases thus reached 332 in Jammu and 995 in Kashmir division, the total active cases in J&K 1327. Today, 64343 people received COVID19 vaccine.