omicron: 80% travellers, contacts have Omicron variant in Gujarat | Ahmedabad News

AHMEDABAD: The genetic profile of prevalent Covid-19 in Gujarat is changing, indicate top sources in the state health department.
While the Delta variant – that caused the devastating second wave of the pandemic in Gujarat and India – for the first time since April took a backseat in December to pave way for sub-variant AY, sources indicated that Omicron may emerge as the dominant variant in the third wave.
“Genomic sequencing reveals that the first week of January fetched over 50% Omicron variant samples out of total, whereas the number was as high as 80% among the patients with foreign travel history and their immediate contacts,” said a health department official.
“Earlier, the Omicron variant cases were found only among the travellers, but today more than 50% of the cases have no travel history or direct connection with the previous Omicron patients.”
The official numbers however have remained lower – out of 40,000-odd total Covid patients recorded from the date the state recorded its first Omicron variant case on December 4, the total number of Omicron patients is 264 or less than 1%.
When contacted, the senior health department officials said that now 10% of the total positive cases are sent for sequencing, whereas all the positive patients found from airports are sent for sequencing. “The number of Omicron cases is rising, but we have not recorded any major spike, though it’s true that compared to community samples, Omicron are found more among the foreign-returned individuals,” said an official.

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