Thiruvananthapuram: All the eight Omicron suspects in Kerala tested negative for the new variant of the virus on Tuesday, said health authorities confirming that the new variant has not entered the state so far.
The samples which tested negative were of persons from Kozhikode (2), Malappuram (2), Ernakulam (2), Thiruvananthapuram (1) and Pathanamthitta (1) , a Kerala health authority release said.
"In all, 10 samples was sent for testing, of which the results of eight have been reported as negative for Omicron variant. The decision that we took was to send samples of all those who turn positive for Covid-19 have arrived from high-risk countries. Two more sample results are awaited," said Kerala Health Minister Veena George.
Besides that, another sample of a person, who arrived at Kozhikode from a high-risk country and tested positive for COVID-19, has been sent for testing.
The samples are being tested for Omicron at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology.
The Minister also urged high caution despite the negative test results.
"Just because the samples have turned negative for Omicron, it should not be taken to break the high caution that we are continuing to have," the Health Minister said.
So far 23 Omicron cases have been detected in Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The Central Government on Sunday issued revised guidelines for international travellers in the wake of Omicron cases reported from multiple countries. The 'at risk' countries included Europe, United Kingdom and 11 other countries - South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.