Goa tracking down ‘each and every aspect’ of five Omicron suspects

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Even as Goa health authorities have sent samples of five sailors suspected of being infected with Omicron to a Pune laboratory for genome sequencing, a simultaneous effort is underway to track down the movements and travel histories of the five, who include Russian and Georgian nationals, in India before they tested positive for Covid, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Tuesday.

He that the state government has gone one step ahead of national Omicron-related protocol by ensuring that all international passengers, not just those embarking from “high risk countries”, are tested and screened at the time of arrival in Goa.

“Each and every aspect is being verified. There is nothing to worry about as of now. This (set of infections) is not from within the state of Goa. This is from within the ship. The state government is very very sensitive and alert,” he told reporters here.

“We do not want any kind of situation in Goa. We are a tourism state and a favoured destination of the country. We need to see that the (Covid) protocols are strictly followed and adhered to,” Rane added.

Five sailors, including Russian and Georgian nationals, have tested positive for Covid with Omicron-like symptoms. They were onboard a cargo ship which had embarked from South Africa and is currently in Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust, since November 18. Four of the five sailors are quarantined at a government designated facility, while one sailor is in isolation on the vessel anchored at the port.

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