S-gene dropout detected in both; they arrived from Sweden via Delhi
The Health Department has sent the samples of a couple, who recently arrived at the Coimbatore International Airport from Sweden and were found to be COVID-19 positive, to the State Public Health Laboratory in Chennai to confirm whether they had contracted the Omicron variant.
Sources in the Health Department said on Saturday, the 36-year-old woman and her husband, estimated to be around 40 years, arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi from Sweden on December 13. After their swab samples were lifted, they boarded a flight to Coimbatore from Delhi and arrived on the same day.
However, the samples lifted in New Delhi returned negative, the sources said. As per the Health Department’s protocol for international travellers, the couple’s samples were tested on December 20, the eighth day of their return using the TaqPath ‘S’ gene diagnostic kit at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, to detect the Omicron variant of the virus.
Following this test, the man had left to Kerala due to personal reasons. However, the diagnostic kit detected the S-gene dropout in both their samples, indicating that they might have been infected with the Omicron variant. While the woman was sent for isolation at the Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, the husband was informed of the test results and isolated himself at an hospital in Idukki, according to the sources.
On December 22, their samples were sent to the State Public Health Laboratory in Chennai for whole genomic sequencing. The results are awaited, sources said.
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