J&K has 10 new Omicron confirmations, 23 total

J&K has 10 new Omicron confirmations, 23 total
A health worker collects swab sample of a tourist for COVID-19 testing outside the entrance of famous Nishat Garden in Srinagar on Saturday November 13, 2021. Aman Farooq/GK File

Srinagar: The number of cases confirmed to be infected with Omicron variant by Whole Genome Sequencing increased to 23 in J&K on Thursday with 10 fresh reports. J&K Government has said that Genome Sequencing was just a reconfirmation that the Wave in the UT was due to Omicron.

A senior health official today said all the 10 samples, eight of which had been randomly selected, were from the Jammu division. Eight of these had been randomly selected while one was a female traveler who had returned from USA recently. The other, also a female, was a contact of this traveler.

A majority of these Omicron positive cases were from Canal Road Jammu. A day earlier, three more Omicron confirmations were received from NCDC Delhi, the three infected from Jammu division. Of these, the health official said, were travelers who had returned from Canada recently.

Additional Chief Secretary J&K Government, Health and Medical Education, Vivek Bhardwaj today said that even without genome sequencing, it was clear that Omicron was spreading in J&K. “It is all Omicron now,” he said. He said that the sequencing was ‘irrelevant’ due to the fact that the Virus was “fast replacing other variants”. “The spike in our cases shows Omicron presence and spread,” he said.

The cases, Dr Saleem ur Rehman, Director General Health, Family Welfare and Immunization and in-charge Director Health Services Jammu said Omicron was a fast spreading Virus and the samples had been taken weeks earlier. He said all the people whose reports were received today have been discharged after negative results. “We have no one admitted with a known Omicron status,” he said.

A senior health official said that the variant found in the samples reported today was BA.1, a sub-lineage of Omicron that is fat replacing the Delta variant across India. Earlier, BA.2 and the B.1.1.529 variants were also detected in J&K. The number of Omicron cases confirmed till date in J&K is 23. Of these, 18 have been confirmed in the Jammu division and five in Kashmir division.

Greater Kashmir