Five sailors, including two Russians, have been kept in quarantine as suspect Omicron cases, Goa health officials said on Monday.
Dr Utkarsh Betodkar, an epidimiologist with the state Directorate of Health Services, said that the five Omicron suspects had tested positive for Covid, after they sailed to Mormugao Port Trust onboard a ship which had embarked from South Africa’s Cape Town on October 31.
“We have sent their test samples for genomic sequencing to Pune. Once the report comes, further course of action will be decided. If they test negative (for Omicron) we will follow protocol as per normal Covid cases. If they test positive for Omicron, the existing government protocol will be followed,” he said.
Betodkar said that the ship, a bauxite-ferrying vessel, had arrived in Goa on November 18, after embarking from South Africa on October 31.
“Two Russians boarded the ship on November 23 and November 29, one of them became partially symptomatic. He was tested in Goan waters and was found to be positive for Covid. Because he was positive, other crew members, around 21 of them were tested. Out of that four more are positive,” he said.
While four of the sailors are currently admitted to the public health centre in Cansaulim, a notified quarantine facility, one sailor is in isolation onboard the vessel.
“We have taken them as a suspect for Omicron and we have isolated them. Out of that, three are already quarantined at the Cansaulim PHC, a notified facility. One person is still on the vessel isolated,” Betodkar said.