Omicron blazes through GHMC areas, 7,496 cases in 10 days

87% of the Covid-19 samples collected between January 1 and January 5 were Omicron positive

HYDERABAD: The Omicron variant of the Coronavirus is blazing through the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits.

Despite the Telangana health department’s reluctance to inform people about the number of Omicron cases in the state, data on genome sequencing of Covid-19 samples in the city collected between January 1 and January 5, shows that 87 per cent of these samples were Omicron positive.

In all, 103 samples from the GHMC limits were sent for genome testing of which 90 were found to be Omicron cases, while 13 were that of the Delta variant of the Coronavirus. As per data available on the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) website, there were two lineages of the Omicron variant, and five of the Delta variant, that were found from among the 103 samples.

While the director of public health & family welfare Dr G. Srinivasa Rao said on January 6 at a press meet that some 70 per cent of all cases in the state could be of the Omicron kind, the actual results for the first five days of this year puts this number much higher than officially anticipated. January 6 was also the day when the health official declared that Telangana would no longer release any data pertaining to the highly infective and transmissible Omicron variant.

Between January 1 and January 5, the health department reported that the GHMC area had 2,361 Covid-19 cases in all. And between January 6 and January 10, the GHMC logged another 6,256 cases taking the total to 8,887 cases in the first 10 days of this month.

Between January 1 and January 10, Telangana reported a total of 13,957 cases.

If one goes by the findings of the genome sequencing results of samples from the GHMC, then the overall Omicron burden in the city of Hyderabad and its immediate surroundings during the first 10 days of January works to a whopping 7,496 cases, while state-wide, the number of Omicron cases during the same period could be 12,142.

All the samples from the GHMC area were sequenced at the recently launched genome sequencing laboratory at the Gandhi Hospital in the city. “With the Gandhi Hospital joining in the genome sequencing efforts, the time taken for sequencing has come down to five days from 14 days in the past. This in turn will help the government to plan steps to control the spread of the disease with information on the variants becoming available to it much more quickly,” according to Dr Kiran Madhala, head of the department of Critical Care at the Government Medical College, Nizamabad.

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