The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is “spreading rapidly” taking the total tally to 101 cases including the new cases across 11 states in India, confirmed the Health Ministry said Friday. The government has already urged states to step up surveillance measures and focus on sequencing positive samples in an effort to identify cases and potential hotspots.
Maharashtra – worst hit by earlier waves of infections – has so far recorded the most Omicron cases – 32. Rajasthan is next with 17, and Karnataka and Telangana have reported eight each. Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh have also reported cases of the new variant.
New travel rules were enforced starting December 1, requiring foreign arrivals from countries deemed ‘at risk’ to submit to RT-PCR tests and, in some cases, mandatory quarantine. A sliver of good news is that only one death has been linked to the Omicron strain so far – in the UK.