5 more Omicron positive cases, 4 with no history of int'l travel
Kolkata: Five people have tested positive for Omicron out of which four are supposed to have no history of foreign travel. This has triggered a major concern for the health department. Earlier, a medical intern from the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital was found Omicron positive without having any history of going abroad.
The total number of active Omicron cases in Bengal so far stood at 10 on Wednesday while the first Omicron case of Bengal, a 7-year-old boy who had returned to Kolkata from Abu Dhabi via Hyderabad was found positive for Omicron and tested negative within 48 hours.
State health department has not, however, confirmed if there is any community transmission that occurred so far in case of Omicron variant. The department has however been taking various preventive measures to check the transmission. It is a concern for the health department as the Omicron variant has more transmissible capacity than that of the delta variant.
"We have received the report of genome sequencing for 107 cases on Tuesday night. Five of them have been Omicron positive. One among them is a foreign traveller and four others are detected positive among the local samples. Out of the four local samples, 2 are from Kolkata, 1 each from Dumdum and Howrah. The contact tracking cell is collecting information for containment measures as per protocol. The total active cases in the state stands at 10," said Director of Health Services Dr Ajay Chakraborty.
Dr Chakraborty further added: "Last Monday, we sent 225 samples for genome sequencing and tomorrow will send more than 700 samples. We usually get the report within three to four days. Incidentally it may be mentioned here that the State government has already demarcated Beliaghata ID Hospital as the nodal hospital for Omicron suspects and positive patients while seven private hospitals in the city have been identified for the treatment of Omicron positive patients. In case any Omicron suspect wants to stay at any of these government-demarcated private hospitals, he/she can do that.
State Health department has also directed the District Magistrates of all the districts and various civic bodies to conduct proper surveillance on the foreign returnees and track them whether they are following the Covid protocols.