‘OMICRON’: Not a single case in India, still need to take precautions says Health Minister
The B.1.1.529 strain of COVID-19, or 'Omicron' was first reported in South Africa on 24 November 2021.Author : Priyanka Vinayak
If you are vaccinated with both doses, you still need to be careful from the new variant named 'omicron'. The researchers are still doing research to find out about the transmissibility of this variant. The new variant of coronavirus has already been affected the people who were vaccinated with both doses.
This variant of coronavirus has around 50 mutations which are comparatively higher than the earlier variants, namely, Epsilon, Alfa, Gamma, and Delta.
The new variant was found in South Africa and now it has been reported in around 14 countries of the world. To restrict or control the spread of this new variant, many countries have introduced guidelines over international travel. The current observations show that people are facing symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, body pains, irritation in the throat, and coughing, but no change in sense of smell or taste.
"No case of COVID-19 variant Omicron has been reported in India so far," Mr Mandaviya said in the Rajya Sabha. He added further, "We are immediately checking suspicious cases and conducting genome sequencing. We learnt a lot during the pandemic...Today, we have a lot of resources and laboratories. We can manage any situation."
Meanwhile, the Centre’s ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ door-to-door vaccination campaign has been extended and will continue until December 31. On the other hand, Japan has confirmed its first case of the new omicron COVID-19 variant, a visitor who recently arrived from Namibia, an official said.
GISAID data as of 29 November 2021 states that there is a total of 198 cases of omicron including 114 from South Africa. After the identification of the variant, several countries have banned travellers from African countries. The United Nations, Japan, Canada, the European Union, Israel, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco, and New Zealand have imposed travel restrictions.
Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, said that symptoms of the variant are ‘extremely mild’.
"Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and will continue to share the findings of these studies as they become available," said WHO.