The Health Ministry has increased central and state surveillance and answered whether Omicron will cause a third wave in India.
Concerned about the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’, the Union Health Ministry issued a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Friday.
On December 2, India reported its first cases of the new COVID variant Omicron after Lav Agarwal, the Union Health Ministry’s Joint Secretary, confirmed two cases. Both cases, aged 46 and 66, were found in Karnataka and had mild symptoms.
Following the discovery of two Omicron cases, the Health Ministry has increased surveillance at both the Central and State levels, indicating the possibility of a third wave.
Are we seeing a third wave in India?
The Health Ministry reported that Omicron was likely to spread to more countries, including India, if a third COVID wave occurred. Considering India’s vaccination rate and high exposure to Delta, the Centre expects the spread to be mild.
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been declared pandemic in South Africa “said it. The Ministry added that “due to the rapid vaccination rate in India and high seropositivity to Delta variant, the disease severity is expected to be low”.
The Centre also stated that it was closely monitoring the situation and issuing guidelines as needed to prevent a resurgence of infections. Prevention measures for COVID-19 infection with Omicron include wearing a mask properly, receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, social isolation, and maintaining maximum ventilation.
On November 24, the WHO warned the world about a COVID-19 strain from South Africa that could evade the human immune system. In less than a week, the Omicron COVID-19 variant, classified as a “Variant of Concern” by the WHO, “found in 29 countries. The Omicron variant has a “transmissibility advantage” according to the WHO due to its high mutation count. This allows the variant to evade immune system responses and spread globally.