India discovered its first Omicron case in Karnataka on December 2nd and so far the country has reported more than a hundred cases of this virus. Before it was reported in India, Omicron cases were found in 29 countries.
The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 25th from South Africa. According to the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection came from a sample taken on November 9 of this year. On November 26th, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 detected in South Africa as “Omicron”. The WHO has classified Omicron as a “questionable variant”.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on South African countries since the mutation was discovered. India has also added several countries to the list from which travelers are required to follow additional measures upon arrival in the country, including testing for post-arrival infections.
The daily COVID-19 case number in India, currently around 7,500 infections, is expected to increase once the Omicron begins to oust Delta as the dominant variant, members of the National COVID-19 Supermodel Committee informed, saying the third wave in India ahead of the start of the year.
Vidyasagar, who is also the head of the National COVID-19 Supermodel Committee, said India will have the third wave of Omicron but will be milder than the second wave.
“The third wave is likely to arrive in India early next year. It should be milder than the second wave due to a large-scale immunity that now exists in the country. There will definitely be a third wave. Right now we’re at around 7,500 cases per day, which is sure to increase once Omicron begins to oust Delta as the dominant variant, “he told ANI.
Vidyasagar, who is also a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Hyderabad, said India was unlikely to see more daily cases than the second wave.
“It is extremely unlikely that there will be more daily cases in the third wave than in the second wave. Please remember that the Government of India only started from the 1st time when the Delta variant hit. So the Delta variant hit a population that was 100 percent vaccine naïve, except for the frontline workers.
He went on to say that, according to a sero survey, there was only a tiny fraction left that had not come into contact with the Delta virus: “Now we have a sero prevalence of 75 to 80 percent (previous exposure), first dose for 85 percent of adults, both doses for 55 percent of adults, and a “range” for the pandemic of 95 percent (meaning only a tiny fraction of the public has not been exposed to the virus).
“So the third wave will not have as many daily cases as the second wave. We have also built our capacity on this experience so that we can deal with it easily,” he said.
Over 101 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have so far been detected in 11 states and union territories, the government said on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said 32 cases had been reported in Maharashtra, 22 in Delhi, 17 in Rajasthan, 8 each in Karnataka and Telangana, 5 each in Gujarat and Kerala, and one each in Andhra Pradesh. Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the delta variant in South Africa, where delta circulation was low. It is likely that Omicron will outperform the community-transmitted delta variant, added the WHO, “Agarwal said.
The Department of Health official also praised the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, saying India is administering the COVID-19 vaccine doses at the highest rate in the world and the daily dose of doses administered 4.8 times that administered in the US Doses are said to be 12.5 times the dose given in the UK.
He also said that Kerala accounts for 40.31 percent of the total number of active cases in the country.
“In the past 20 days, fewer than 10,000 new cases were registered every day. The case positivity last week was 0.65 percent. Currently, Kerala accounts for 40.31 percent of the total number of active cases in the country, ”added Agarwal.
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