Omicron: Botswana woman who visited MP Covid-negative

Omicron scare: Health officials trace Botswana woman who visited MP in Jabalpur, say she is Covid-negative

She is at the Army-run College of Materials Management (CMM) now

Representative Image. Credit: PTI File Photo

Madhya Pradesh health authorities on Monday managed to trace a 34-year-old woman from Botswana, a country in southern Africa where Omicron variant of coronavirus has been detected, in Jabalpur, a day after a search was launched for her as per the health surveillance guidelines to check the spread of Covid-19.

The woman, identified as Oreemetse Lynn Khumo, was found at the Army-run College of Materials Management (CMM) here, officials said, adding that she is a captain in the Botswana Army. She has not demonstrated any symptoms of coronavirus infection so far, they added.

"The woman came to Jabalpur from Delhi, as per the record shared with us by the Central government,” Jabalpur Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Ratnesh Kurariya had told PTI earlier in the day. Her name had figured in the list of the passengers sent to local authorities by the Union government but the officials could not find her, he had said.

According to officials, Khumo had flown to Jabalpur on November 18 from New Delhi. She is at the Army-run College of Materials Management (CMM) now.

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"A search was launched for Oreemetse Lynn Khumo on Sunday morning as per the list received. She is a captain in the Botswana Army. Her health is perfectly alright now. She has come here on the behalf of her country to participate in a course in the CMM run by the Army," Dr Vibhor Hazari and Dr Priyank Dubey who are with the Jabalpur District Hospital, said in a press note.

Dr Hazari said Khumo was quarantined for 10 days after reaching here. "She was examined and found to be completely well. She did not demonstrate any symptoms of coronavirus. A team led by Dr Hazari and Dubey collected the woman's samples and sent them to the Indian Council of Medical Research for a test. The woman was vaccinated," officials said.

Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa, where the Omicron variant has been detected. The WHO had last week described Omicron as a “variant of concern” whose detection has caused fear around the globe that it could resist vaccines and prolong the Covid-19 pandemic.

Local health officials on Monday contacted the Botswana Embassy. They heaved a sigh of relief when they were informed that the woman was with an Army organisation in Jabalpur itself.

But before this confirmation, the officials had scanned the CCTVs at the Dumna airport to find the woman and enquired with hotels in Jabalpur and neighbouring districts about foreign tourists, officials said.

Under the surveillance process, the Union government was regularly providing the list of visitors coming to Jabalpur from abroad, Dr Kurariya had said.

Last month, 164 people from the United Kingdom visited Jabalpur and they were contacted and asked about their health, he said. Jabalpur reported the first coronavirus case in the state on March 30 last year, when three people who returned from Dubai and Germany tested positive for the infection.

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