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  4. What's the Govt doing to tackle Omicron threat? Health Minister Mandaviya briefs Parliament | Top points

What's the Govt doing to tackle Omicron threat? Health Minister Mandaviya briefs Parliament | Top points

Mandaviya also hit out at the opposition over claims about deaths due to oxygen shortage during that period, saying the Centre sought from states data on the matter and only the Punjab government replied that there were four suspected cases of such deaths and a probe into them was underway.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: December 03, 2021 15:45 IST
What's Govt doing to tackle Omicron threat? Health Minister
Image Source : ANI

What's Govt doing to tackle Omicron threat? Health Minister Mandaviya briefs Parliament

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday asked the opposition parties to stop playing politics over oxygen shortage during the second wave of COVID-19 infections and take note of the Centre's efforts to ramp production of the life-saving gas to meet the surge in demand. He also briefed Parliament over Covid Omicron variant.

Mandaviya also hit out at the opposition over claims about deaths due to oxygen shortage during that period, saying the Centre sought from states data on the matter and only the Punjab government replied that there were four suspected cases of such deaths and a probe into them was underway.

Here are the top takeaways: 

  • Govt prepared to fight Omicron, says Mandaviya. On growing concerns involving the Omicron variant, he said that the Centre is prepared to fight the new strain. 
  • Mandaviya slams politics being played over Covid management. He said that the government ensured that proper training is provided to health officials and states' demands for ventilators and others are met.
  • The Centre wrote to states thrice, requesting them to provide data on the number of people who died due to shortage of oxygen, Mandaviya said.
  • The nation got vaccine after research within a year - this facility has been given by PM Modi
  • We were alert, a committee had been formed before the case was reported & it had started working

In a statement released earlier on Friday, the Health Minstry underlined that Omicron is likely to spread to more countries, including India. However, the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low in the country due to fast pace of vaccination. 

"Omicron cases are increasingly being reported from countries outside of South Africa and given its characteristics, it is likely to spread to more countries including India. However, the scale and magnitude of rise in cases and most importantly the severity of disease that will be caused is still not clear. Further, given the fast pace of vaccination in India and high exposure to delta variant as evidenced by high seropositivity, the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low. However, scientific evidence is still evolving," the statement added. 

Will the existing vaccines work against Omicron?

While, there is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work on Omicron, some of the mutations reported on Spike gene may decrease the efficacy of existing vaccines. However, vaccine protection is also by antibodies as well as by cellular immunity, which is expected to be relatively better preserved. Hence vaccines are expected to still offer protection against severe disease and, vaccination with the available vaccines is crucial. If eligible, but not vaccinated, one should get vaccinated, the ministry's statement said.

ALSO READ: Omicron Variant Updates: 10 South African nationals untraceable in Bengaluru; CM chairs emergency meet

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