By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, December 30, 2021: Five cases of Omicron were detected in Odisha on Thursday pushing the tally of the new coronavirus variant to 14 in the state.

Director of Health Service (DHS) Bijay Mohapatra said the Odisha government has decided to undertake genome sequencing of all samples which test positive for COVID-19 notwithstanding their foreign travel history.

Of the five new cases, one is a woman. While four persons have foreign travel history, one of them had recently visited Raipur and Hyderabad, he said.

The genome sequencing of their swab samples was done at the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) here and tested positive for Omicron, he said.

Mohapatra said the health conditions of all the newly detected Omicron cases are stable.

The state had reported its first Omicron case on December 21 with two foreign returnees – one from Nigeria and the other from Qatar testing positive for the variant.

Odisha’s 14 Omicron cases include a child and a teenager – aged 11 and 15 years who had returned from Nigeria on December 23.

On Sunday, four persons had tested positive for Omicron. Three of them had come from Nigeria and another had a travel history to UAE.

On Wednesday, a resident of Keonjhar district had tested positive for the variant. He had returned from Dubai recently.

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