List of Countries with Omicron Variant- Two Omicron cases detected in India, says ICMR DG Balram Bhargava

Omicron variant in India:  India has detected its first two Omicron cases in Karnataka. All primary and secondary contacts of both Omicron cases have been identified and they are currently being tested and monitored. Check here the list of Omicron variant COVID affected countries.

 Two cases of Omicron have been detected in Karnataka, India: ICMR DG Balram Bhargava
Two cases of Omicron have been detected in Karnataka, India: ICMR DG Balram Bhargava

Omicron variant in India: Two cases of Omicron have been detected in Karnataka, India through genome sequencing effort of INSACOG consortium of 37 laboratories established by the Health Ministry, informed ICMR DG Balram Bhargava. He emphasised that there is no need to panic, but awareness is absolutely essential. 

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry informed that all primary and secondary contacts of both Omicron cases have been identified and they are currently being tested and monitored. Agarwal stressed that no severe symptoms of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been reported so far. He assured saying that all Omicron related cases are found to have mild symptoms.

NITI Aayog Member Dr.VK Paul highlighted that the priority of the government is very clear- complete the task of vaccinating all adults with both doses. He urged people to not delay in getting fully vaccinated. Overall, 373 cases of Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in 29 nations so far. 

The United States also reported its first case of the 'Omicron' variant of COVID-19 on December 1, 2021. The case has been detected in the US state of California, informed top medical adviser Anthony Fauci. The individual was a traveller who had returned from South Africa on November 22nd and tested positive on November 29th.

Read more: India's guidelines for people arriving from at-risk countries

The Omicron variant, first identified by South Africa, has now been reported in several countries across the globe. 

List of countries with omicron variant

India- 2 cases

US- 1 case

Saudi Arabia - 1 case

UAE- 1 case

Germany- 9 cases

Canada - 6 cases

United Kingdom - 22 cases

Australia - 7 cases

Brazil - 3 cases

South Africa - 77 cases

Botswana - 19 cases

Hong Kong - 4 cases

Israel - 4 cases

Belgium- 1 case

France - 1 case

Japan- 2 cases

The Netherlands- 16 cases

Czech Republic - 1 case

Austria -1 case

Denmark- 4 cases

Norway- 2 cases

Italy - 9 cases

Spain- 2 cases

Portugal- 13 cases

Sweden - 3 cases

Switzerland- 1 case

Nigeria- 3 cases

South Korea- 5 cases

Read more: What do we know about new COVID variant Omicron?

Why is Omicron variant concerning?

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is being feared due to its increased transmissibility and possible risk of evading vaccine protection and causing reinfection. 

How to reduce spread of Omicron COVID-19 variant?

As per WHO, the most effective way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 is to-

- Keep a safe distance

- Wear a well-fitting mask

- Open windows; avoid poorly ventilated, crowded spaces

- Clean hands

- Cough, sneeze into a bent elbow/tissue

- Get vaccinated

Risk related to Omicron very high: WHO

World Health Organisation warned on November 29, 2021 that risk related to Covid variant Omicron is 'very high'. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that we shouldn't need another wake-up call, 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐯𝐢𝐫𝐮𝐬.

The WHO DG said that the emergence of the highly-mutated Omicron variant underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is. He emphasised that Omicron’s very emergence is another reminder although many of us might think we are done with #COVID19, it is not done with us. 

"We are living through a cycle of panic and neglect. Hard-won gains could vanish in an instant," said WHO Director-General. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus further warned that "Although other regions are seeing declining or stable trends, if there’s one thing we have learned, it’s that no region, no country, no community and no individual is safe until we are all safe."

South Africa should be thanked for detecting Omicron, not penalised: WHO DG

WHO DG Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said South Africa should be thanked for detecting, sequencing and reporting this variant, not penalized. Omicron COVID variant was first detected in South Africa and now the nation is facing a travel ban from several countries including the US, Canada, UK and many other European nations. 

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