The ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) report on the sample of one of the two South Africa returnees, who tested COVID-19 positive with features "different from the Delta variant" of the virus is expected in the next two to three days, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Tuesday.
He, however, said the two COVID infected people who arrived from South Africa here earlier this month were asymptomatic and did not require hospitalisation, but as a precautionary measure they were admitted to the hospital.
"The sample of one of the two infected persons is different from the delta variant. Hence, we had sent it to the Indian Council for Medical Research. It may take another two to three days to get the report," the Minister told reporters here.
Ahead of a meeting with officials here, amid growing concern over the Omicron variant, Sudhakar said he would discuss possible quarantine norms for those who come from abroad and test positive for COVID-19.
"Earlier we were allowing home quarantine for those who were asymptomatic but now we have to relook the norms following the discovery of new variant," Sudhakar said.
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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
He added that the Technical Advisory Committee has recommended a set of guidelines to the government, which will be discussed in the meeting and its outcome would be presented to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to take a final call.
The minister clarified that there is no proposal before the government for imposing any restriction that could hinder the academic and economic activities in the state.
According to the health department officials, the two COVID infected persons had come to Bengaluru from South Africa on November 11 and November 20.