Northeast first Omicron case detected in Manipur

The 48-year-old man from Imphal West district is a returnee from Tanzania.

Manipur on Monday reported its first case of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the COVID-19 when a returnee from Tanzania tested positive for the variant. The 48-year-old man from Imphal West district is also the first person in the northeastern region of the country infected by the variant which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared as “variant of concern’.

According to the Manipur Health department, the Omicron variant case was reported in a person who recently came back from Tanzania. Results of three members of his family who also tested positive for COVID-19 are waiting, the Health department added.

Addressing a press conference here, director of the Manipur Health department, Dr K Rajo said that the patient returned to India on December 12 last and reached Imphal on the next day. After keeping under surveillance for a few days, his swab sample was sent for COVID-19 test on December 20, following which his sample was sent for whole genome sequencing to the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) Takyelpat in Imphal the next day. The result was received today with Omicron positive, the Health director further said.

No sooner had the results been received he was shifted to a special isolation ward at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal East district. The patient was vaccinated against COVID-19 and is in good health condition. He is not showing symptoms of the viral disease till date, Dr Rajo also said.

The three members of his family who were also tested positive for COVID-19 were sent for genome sequencing. The results are expected at the earliest, the Health director said. The three persons have also been shifted to an isolation center at RD Wing of the Directorate of Health Service, he informed.

The Health director further informed that till date as many as 480 individuals have arrived in the state from foreign countries since the Centre took up precautionary measures to check the spread of the variant of concern (VoC). Of them, 306 individuals are currently under surveillance.

“All precautions have been taken up to face any eventuality arising out of the spread of the new variant in the state”, the Health director also said, while asking people not to be panicky.

While reiterating that vaccination is the most effective way to protect from the pandemic, the Health director appealed to all to vaccinate.

Dr Rajo then said that for the Delta variant, there is no need for fear as it is almost under control.

Meanwhile, the total number of people infected by COVID-19 in Manipur rose to 1,25,732 with nine more fresh infections reported today. The fatality toll in the state also rose to 2,002 with one more patient infected by the respiratory infection disease succumbing to the disease in the past 24 hours, the Health department said in its latest bulletin. The latest’s death case was reported in Imphal West district. He had comorbidities, the Health department claimed.The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the state also declined to 178 with 12 more patients were discharged upon recovery on the day. The Health department also said that the recovery tally of the state rose to 1,23,552. This is 98.27% of the total infections.

As many as 781 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of samples so far tested in the state to 14,55,935. The positivity rate of the day stood at 1.2%.

The nine fresh cases were detected from three districts with five in Imphal West district, three in Imphal East and one in Ukhrul district.

No fresh cases reported in the rest 13 districts of the state.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the state reached 22,96,560 with 1,026 individuals having inoculated on Sunday.


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