The Omicron coronavirus strain was discovered by coincidence in a 46-year-old city doctor who had no recent international travel history.
According to a senior medical officer at the government hospital in South Bengaluru where the anaesthesiologist has worked for the past 15 years, the anaesthesiologist’s sample was sent for genetic sequencing because of its high viral load, as per a Health Department mandate.
“Our doctor’s sample had a Ct value of 13. This prompted our microbiologist to send the sample for sequencing, we have not treated any patients from Omicron-hit nations. If mutations occur in a certain country, the same can occur in other countries as well. They need not always be imported,” he said.
The number of RT-PCR cycles required to amplify viral RNA to a detectable level is indicated by the Ct value, or cycle threshold value. Sequencing is only possible with swab samples having a Ct value of less than 25.
The doctor’s symptoms were modest despite the high viral load, and he was treated at a private hospital. India’s second Omicron patient has been identified. The first is a 66-year-old South African who has traveled to the United States.
Since November 20, the anesthesiologist has not reported working. He had himself tested as soon as he had a fever and bodily soreness. He has been at home since the outcome was announced. Although their daughter’s Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) came out negative, his wife tested positive. According to the hospital official, she would be subjected to an RT-PCR test.
According to Dr. Manoj Kumar, the hospital’s dean, the doctor and his wife have been admitted to the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital and will be treated as regular Covid patients.
Two of the doctor’s 13 primary contacts and three of his 205 secondary contacts have tested positive, and all are being watched by the BBMP, according to BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta.
Two other hospital employees, including the anesthesiologist, tested positive on the same day, according to the official.