Omicron: India reports first cases of new Covid variant

Two men in the southern Indian state of Karnataka have tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant after returning from overseas.

The men, who are 66 years and 46 years old, are currently under observation, a government spokesperson said.

These are the first cases of the new Omicron variant to be reported in India.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Omicron poses a “high infection risk”.

Officials said all primary contacts and secondary contacts of the two men have been traced and are being tested as well.

Six samples from people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the national capital Delhi, and another six samples from the western state of Maharashtra, have all been sent for genome sequencing to determine the variant. Officials are still awaiting results. Several other cities and states are following suit.