Health authorities on Thursday, December 16, sounded an alert in a residential area in Hyderabad where two cases of the Omicron variant were detected among foreigners. Teams of health workers along with the employees of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were conducting door-to-door surveys in Paramount Colony in Tolichowki area. All the foreign nationals living in the area and their contacts were being traced and tested under the special drive. The municipal staff also formed a containment zone as part of the precautionary measure.
A 23-year-old female from Kenya and 24-year-old male from Somalia had tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad on December 12. Since they came from countries other than ‘at-risk’ countries they were allowed to go home, but their samples were sent for genome sequencing. The results became available on Wednesday showed them to be positive for the Omicron variant.
The health officials traced both the persons in Paramount Colony and shifted them to Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS), the government designated isolation facility for Omicron cases. Director of public health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao said the contacts of the two persons were also sent for RT-PCR tests.
The health workers conducted COVID-19 tests on all the residents of the two apartment buildings where the two foreigners were living. All those who came in contact with them were also subjected to RT-PCR tests.
As the Somalian, who tested positive for Omicron, had visited two corporate hospitals for checkup and went to a couple of other places in the city on Monday and Tuesday, the authorities were trying to trace those who came in contact with him. About 100 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the areas during the last 24 hours. The results are likely to be available later in the day. Officials said the samples of those found positive will be sent for genome sequencing. The GHMC staff also took up spraying disinfectants in the area.