Third wave: Officials worry over community spread – ET HealthWorld

Many returning after inter-state travel for Christmas and NYE celebrations are testing covid-positive; genome sequencing results are awaited

With a spike in Omicron cases, officials worry that a community spread is taking place in the city as 149 new cases were found in clusters after random checking of many with no travel history. However, all of them have mild symptoms and have been shifted to institutional isolation.

Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare, Randeep D, said that there have been no severe cases reported in Omicron and all of them were mild and have been shifted to institutional isolation.

“To some extent, there are cases with no travel history and we found the variant inside existing clusters along with the Delta variant as well. The infection is spreading at a faster rate like any other metropolitan cities in India. We are seeing a good number of recoveries in Omicron and in earlier cases, only 20 were active and all of them were discharged. In the 149 new cases, all of them were traced and samples of their contacts have also been sent for genome sequence,” he said.

Dr Trilok Chandra, BBMP Special Commissioner (Health), said that they are expecting the covid cases to increase and have taken all measures to control them. “We have seen Omicron cases with no travel history and they have not come in contact with any international travellers as well. There is a spread and we are sending all the samples of positive cases in the city for genome sequence. We have increased the number of tests to 70,000 per day and contact tracing has also been intensified. We are implementing covid-appropriate behaviour in a more stringent manner. Of the new Omicron cases, there are a few international travellers who are below 18 years,” he said.

He added that these results are from the testing of the last week of December and they are yet to get results of those who have been tested positive post 31st.

A senior official said that of the newly identified Omicron cases, 94 were detected in apartments itself and all measures have been taken to contain the further spread.

“Many who had travelled inter-state to celebrate the new year, have returned and have tested positive. Their results of genome sequence are awaited and we are expecting the number to go higher. We are already witnessing community spread in the city and many were tested positive during random checking,” he said.

“Many international travellers who tested negative on arrival, tested positive after eight days and in between those eight days, they have come in contact with several people. Despite the restrictions, many celebrated Christmas and new year inside apartments and communities where the clusters are now seen,” he added.

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