K'taka CM to chair high-level meeting on Friday to discuss 'Omicron' variant

bommai, union health, omicron, ncbs, mandaviya, karnataka, bengaluru, sops

With two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus detected in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai on Thursday said he will discuss the matter in a high-level meeting in Bengaluru on Friday and take the next course of action.

“We are holding a meeting tomorrow with all details and will come out with new SoPs (standard operating procedure). We are also trying to get expert views and guidelines of the Centre,” he told reporters here.

Bommai said though there is confirmation about the two cases of Omicron variant in Karnataka, the NCBS lab report has not come officially to the state government.

“We do not have much details, except for samples and the age of the two persons who tested positive for the new variant. However, we are very alarmed and cautious,” he maintained.

The chief minister said he has already discussed the matter with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya who has assured to share complete details of these new cases with the state government.

He said he has also asked the state health minister and chief secretary to gather more information.

Stating that the Karnataka government is already monitoring and tracking international travellers, Bommai said, “Our duty is to see that not only these two persons, but track and trace such strains wherever they are found and their contacts.”

Earling during the day, Bommai in a meeting with the Union health minister discussed the new variant.

“I discussed two issues. One was about controlling the spread of COVID-19 and the other was about the new variant,” the chief minister said.

He noted that he also discussed administering a booster dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 to health workers.

Bommai further said the Union health minister told him that the Centre is watching the current developments and a decision on administering COVID-19 booster dose to health workers will be taken after discussion with expert committees.

In the meeting, Mandaviya praised the state government’s vaccination drive and called for continuing the campaign at the same speed and pace.

The Union government on Thursday said two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected in Karnataka and asked people not to panic but follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated without delay.

Both the patients are men aged 66 years and 46 years with mild symptoms. Severe symptoms have not been noted, a central government official said during a press conference here.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government said out of the two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus that have been detected in the State, one is a South African national who had left the country after testing negative, while the other is a local person — a doctor with no travel history.

Five contacts of the doctor have also tested positive and their samples have been sent for genomic sequencing, it said.

Bommai was in the national capital on an official visit to attend an event. He also called on Union ministers and discussed the state development issues.

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