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Kerala reports 4 new cases of Omicron, total rises to 11

News Agencies | Updated on: 19 December 2021, 0:34 IST
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Kerala reported four new cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, taking the overall cases of the new variant to eleven in the state on Saturday, Health Minister Veena George said.

A 17-year-old, who tested positive for the new variant, had returned to Trivandrum from the UK on December 9 along with his parents and sister. His grandmother is also on his contact list.

A 44-year-old who tested positive had come to Trivandrum on December 15. Since Tunisia is not a high-risk country he was sent home after random testing.

A Thrissur resident who tested positive returned from Kenya. According to central government guidelines, Kenya and Tunisia were not high-risk countries so they were given self-isolation.

A person under treatment in Malappuram, a Karnataka native, came from Tanzania. He came to Kozhikode airport on December 13 and since he tested positive, he was shifted to the hospital directly.

The Health Minister said that those coming from countries other than in the high-risk category are also testing positive. People who come from abroad should follow strict self-isolation and they shouldn't visit public places for 14 days.

A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.


First published: 19 December 2021, 0:34 IST