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Omicron variant in India: India’s Omicron tally rises to 32, Maharashtra reports seven new cases.

Maharashtra reported its 17th case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant after seven more people tested positive. With this, India’s Omicron tally rose to 32 on a day when the government warned about weakening coronavirus precautions like mask-wearing. Of the seven new cases, three are from Mumbai and four from Pimpri Chinchwad, the state health department said on Friday.

Among the new patients, four are asymptomatic, while three have mild symptoms. Four patients are fully vaccinated, one person has received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and another patient is completely unvaccinated. A three-year-old child was also among the seven new cases in the state.

Earlier today, officials said that a resident of Dharavi area in Mumbai, who recently returned from Tanzania, was found to have contracted Omicron infection.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said the 49-year-old man, a Maulavi, who had arrived in Mumbai to give sermons at a mosque in Dharavi, is “completely asymptomatic” and is admitted at the Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai.

Random testing was conducted when he landed in Mumbai on 4 December from Tanzania. Results of his genome sequencing report arrived on Friday.

Seven cases have been found in Pune district, but Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said earlier in the day that five out of them have now tested negative for the infection.

Tanzania does not figure in the list of “at-risk” countries, but the Dharavi resident tested positive for COVID-19 during the mandatory random checking of two percent of arrivals at the Mumbai airport.

When his test came out positive, a medical team from G-North ward (where Dharavi falls) tracked him down immediately. Dharavi in central Mumbai is known as the biggest slum in Asia where over six lakh people live in a 2.5 square km area.

Pawar held a meeting with state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and other officials today to review the coronavirus situation in Pune. “In Maharashtra, we have tracked and traced a total of 4,604 foreign travellers. The administration is contacting them and asking about their health regularly,” he noted.

Centre warns against declining mask usage

At a joint press briefing earlier today, the government said that 25 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been detected in India so far and that mostly mild symptoms have been noted in all the cases. Providing a breakdown of the cases, Joint secretary, health ministry, Lav Agarwal said that there were nine reported cases in Rajasthan, three in Gujarat, 10 in Maharashtra, two in Karnataka, and one in Delhi.

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