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  4. Omicron multiplies faster but doesn't cause 'very serious illness': Top doctor

Omicron multiplies faster but doesn't cause 'very serious illness': Top doctor

Omicron cases in India: Dr Rakesh Aggarwal, Director of JIPMER, said that people need to be watchful and take precautions such as wearing masks, avoiding gatherings to prevent the spread of infection.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: December 15, 2021 15:14 IST
Omicron multiplies faster but doesn't cause 'very serious
Image Source : PTI (REPRESENTATIONAL PIC)

Omicron multiplies faster but doesn't cause 'very serious illness': Top doctor 

Highlights

  • The B.1.1.529 Covid variant or Omicron, was first detected in South Africa in November
  • It was designated by the World Health Organisation as a 'variant of concern'
  • WHO said Omicron variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate. India has logged more than 55 cases

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 multiplies faster but till now it doesn't appear to be causing a very serious illness, said Dr Rakesh Aggarwal, Director of Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry. He said that people need to be watchful and take precautions such as wearing masks, avoiding gatherings to prevent the spread of infection.

On the need for booster doses in the country amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, he said, "The experts in the field of vaccination are keeping an eye on it. As of now, it appears that there is not much role for boosters in the country as a large proportion of our population has had exposure to the virus and has also taken vaccines."

Notably, the World Health Organisation has said that the Omicron variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate. According to WHO Director General Tedros A Ghebreyesus, a total of 77 countries have reported Omicron cases so far but the "reality is that this variant is probably yet to be detected in some countries".

In India as well, the Omicron variant caseload is rising each day. Currently, there are 57 Omicron cases in the country. On Wednesday, West Bengal reported its first Omicron case as a 7-year-old boy tested positive for Coronavirus variant, according to the state health department. Four more cases of Omicron were reported in Delhi on Tuesday while eight cases of the new variant were reported from Maharashtra. The total number of cases of Omicron variant in Maharashtra is now at 28. The other states where Omicron variant has been reported includes Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh.

Srinivas Rao, Director of Public Health, Government of Telangana, told ANI that two cases of Omicron variant have been reported in the state from non-risk countries. A man from Somalia and a woman from Kenya have tested positive for Omicron. They came to Hyderabad via Dubai. Rao said that government officials are tracking one more person. 

Meanwhile, Health Ministers of Karnataka and Jharkhand too have said that Omicron is highly infectious. 

"We should keep our guards on. Masking and social distancing should be practiced. It is unfortunate that people are not wearing masks, we will be passing advisories and regulations on the same," Dr K Sudhakar, Karnataka Health Minister, said.

"About Omicron, WHO, ICMR have said that it has the capacity to spread 7 times more than the Delta variant. I don't think that an accurate assessment of this variant's impact has been done yet. We're taking necessary measures- testing, tracking in place," Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta said.

The B.1.1.529 Covid variant or Omicron, first detected in South Africa in November, was designated by the World Health Organisation as a 'variant of concern'. 

READ MORE: How to protect yourself from Omicron if you are already sick

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