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  4. With 101 Omicron cases, Centre says, there is no evidence which says vaccines are not effective | 10 points

With 101 Omicron cases, Centre says, there is no evidence which says vaccines are not effective | 10 points

Stating that the Omicron variant has been reported in 91 countries in the world, the health ministry added that WHO has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low.

Sri Lasya Edited by: Sri Lasya @laasiyapriya New Delhi Updated on: December 17, 2021 17:54 IST
omicron, covid 19
Image Source : PTI FILE

 A medic collects sample from a passenger for COVID-19 test

Highlights

  • There are currently 101 cases of Omicron variant in country, Centre said.
  • "This is time to avoid non-essential travel, mass gatherings," urged Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR.
  • Meanwhile, India on Thursday recorded 7,974 Covid-19 cases and 343 deaths.

The Union Health Ministry on Friday, in a press conference on the Covid-19 situation in India, said that there are currently 101 cases of the new Omicron variant in the country. Stating that the Omicron variant has been reported in 91 countries in the world, the health ministry added, "WHO has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low." It is likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, said Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry. 

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Here are the main takeaways on what the Centre has said about the new Omicron variant in India:

  1. "New daily cases were recorded below 10,000 for the past 20 days. The case positivity for the last 1 week was 0.65%. Currently, Kerala contributes 40.31% to the total number of active cases in the country," said Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry
  2. "India is administering COVID19 vaccine doses at the highest rate in the world and the daily rate of doses administered is 4.8 times the rate of doses administered in the USA and 12.5 times the rate of doses administered in the UK," he added. 
  3. "This is the time to avoid non-essential travel, mass gatherings and it is very important to observe low-intensity festivities," said Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR.
  4. A new phase of the Covid-19 pandemic is being experienced in Europe with a steep rise in cases, the ministry added. 
  5. Dr. VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog said: "Genome sequencing of every sample is not possible. It is a surveillance and pandemic assessment & tracking tool, not a diagnostic tool as of now. We can assure sufficient systematic sampling is being undertaken."
  6. On anti-viral pills, Dr. Bhargava, DG ICMR added, "We have been discussing these anti-viral Covid-19 pills. We have found that these pills need to be given very early, even before the diagnosis of the disease. Scientific data is still not supported in a big way that the pills will be useful at the moment."
  7. "There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines are not effective against Omicron variant of coronavirus," said Lav Agarwal.
  8. Earlier, Delhi's Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that the national capital's Omicron tally now stands at 20 of which 10 have been discharged.  Jain said there are currently 40 people, who are suspected cases of the variant, admitted to Lok Nayak Hospital, of whom 38 are Covid-19 positive. “None of the cases have displayed any severe symptoms till now,” he said.
  9. The Centre had also issued new travel rules starting December 1, mandating RT-PCR tests for foreign arrivals from countries deemed 'at risk'.
  10. Meanwhile, India on Thursday recorded 7,974 Covid-19 cases and 343 deaths. With 7,948 recoveries, the active cases in the country stood at 87,245.

 

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