A 39-year-old Chandigarh resident who returned from South Africa has been home quarantined even as the authorities here on Monday dismissed as “rumours” anyone having tested positive for the new Covid variant “Omicron”.
“A 39-year-old male resident of Sector 36 had returned from South Africa on November 21. He was RT-PCR negative on his arrival at the airport. He was quarantined at home on his arrival in Chandigarh,” an official statement said here.
It further said another RT-PCR test has been conducted on November 29.
The B.1.1.529 Covid variant or Omicron, first detected in South Africa last week, was designated by the World Health Organisation as a “variant of concern”, the health body’s top category for worrying coronavirus variants. The statement said there were “rumours” afloat here that a South Africa returnee has been found to be positive for the new Covid variant. “It is clarified that there is no such case in Chandigarh,” it said.
Meanwhile, amid concerns of the new variant, The Chandigarh administration has increased surveillance of those returning from abroad.
Amid mounting global concerns over Omicron, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Saturday stressed the need to be proactive. He had also directed officials to review plans on easing of international travel restrictions.
Modi, who had chaired a meeting to review the situation related to COVID-19 and vaccination in the country, was briefed by top health officials about the new variant, described by WHO as a “variant of concern”, with its characteristics and its impact seen in various countries.