Amid the fear of the third wave of COVID-19 and the new SARS-CoV-2 variant ‘Omicron’, two passengers who returned from South Africa in Karnataka’s Bengaluru have tested positive for Covid-19, creating panic among the health authorities and the people.
However, the tests revealed that both the returnees have tested positive for the Delta variant.
"We fastened the process of sequencing. Both samples are Delta, not Omicron. They are returnees from South Africa in November. Sequencing was done at a Bengaluru lab itself,” informed State Health Secretary T K Anil Kumar.
On Saturday, Bengaluru Rural Deputy Commissioner K Srinivas said that as many as 584 people, so far, have arrived in Bengaluru from 10 "high-risk" nations in the last few weeks, while as many as 94 individuals have come from South Africa alone so far.
The World Health Organization has named the newly found B.1.1529 variant of Covid-19 as a ‘variant of concern’ on Friday.
The Omicron variant was first reported in Botswana and is the reason behind driving up daily Covid-19 cases in South Africa. Cases of Omnicron variant have also been confirmed in Hong Kong, Belgium, Israel and the UK.
Following the detection of the new variant, the European Union, the US, Canada, and Saudi Arabia are among the countries which have suspended flights from South Africa.