A health ministry official in India announced on Thursday that the new Omicron COVID19 variety has been found in two instances in the southern state of Karnataka.
"All main and secondary contacts of both patients have been located and are being tested," said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the health ministry, at a press conference.
India had planned to resume regular commercial foreign flights on December 15, but cancelled the plan on Wednesday, saying that a resumption date would be announced later.
A week after the health ministry warned that a recent drop in testing could jeopardise India's efforts to limit the epidemic, the government has asked states to increase testing.
Coronavirus incidences have dropped significantly in India, where the Delta variety is the prevalent strain, after a record spike in infections and deaths in April and May.