Gujarat: NRI from Zimbabwe, 2 others who contracted Omicron variant discharged from hospital

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An NRI from Zimbabwe and two of his family members, who had tested positive for Covid-19 and were found to be infected by the Omicron variant, were discharged from a government hospital in Jamnagar late Thursday evening after all of them tested negative.

The man was the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant in Gujarat and third in the country.

Dr Nandini Desai, medical superintendent of Guru Gobindsingh Government (GG) Hospital, Friday told The Indian Express, “They were discharged late last evening (Thursday) after all of them recovered from Covid-19. They were discharged because results of their two consecutive tests, conducted at an interval of 48 hours, came back negative.”

The 72-year-old NRI, who had arrived in Jamanagar with his 45-year-old wife and daughter on November 29 to pay a visit to their relatives, had tested positive for Covid-19 on December 1 after developing flu-like symptoms. Subsequently, he was admitted to a special isolation ward of the GG Hospital in the Dental College and his samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune and Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) in Gandhinagar for genome sequencing.

After the man tested positive, the health department of the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) asked his wife, a native of Jamangar, their daughter and seven members of the man’s brother-in-law, the visiting family’s host in Jamnagar, to isolate themselves. Their samples were collected for Covid-19 tests and the results for all the nine returned negative.

Later, on December 4, when the GBRC concluded that the man had contracted the Omicron variant, the JMC once again collected samples from all the nine members of the family for Covid tests. On December 5, the man’s 45-year-old wife and her 35-year-old brother tested positive but had no symptoms of Covid-19.

The brother-sister duo was admitted to the special isolation ward at GG Hospital and their samples were sent to GBRC for genome sequencing. On December 9, GBRC concluded that the two had contracted the Omicron variant.

JMC once again tested the remaining seven members of the family and also the children who used to visit the home for private tuitions but all of them tested negative.

The medical superintendent said that the NRI, his wife and his brother-in-law did not have any comorbidity. “In fact, the man’s wife and brother-in-law remained asymptomatic during the entire period of hospitalisation,” said Dr Desai.

Municipal Commissioner of Jamangar Vijay Kharadi said the three patients and the rest of the family members have been advised to remain in isolation for one more week as a precautionary measure.

Kharadi added Jamnagar city has reported more than 50 cases of Covid-19 in the last 17 days. “Most clusters are among those attending destination weddings. We have identified around 177 people (who had attended destination weddings) and out of them, more than 120 of them were from Jamangar. Almost all of them have been screened and of them, 52 to 55 people who had attended the weddings, or are close relatives of those who had attended or are their close contacts, were found to be positive,” said Kharadi, adding, isolated cases of four to five cases every week are being reported from other parts of the city.

Incidentally, the family members of a leading businessman of Jamnagar had gone to Jodhpur for a destination wedding and days after they returned home, the businessman and seven of his close relatives tested positive for Covid-19.

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