The first cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 virus have been detected in India. Meanwhile, the health ministry is claimed that there is “no need to panic”. The development comes just days after South Africa became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic recently.
So far 2 patients have been found who contracted the Omicron variant of the virus. Both the patients are foreigners, are located in Karnataka, and are exhibiting no severe symptoms.
On December 2, 2021, the Health Ministry’s secretary Lav Agarwal held a press conference where he shared that awareness and COVID-19 appropriate behavior is absolute essential.
Like every stubborn virus that is contracted by human the COVID-19 virus or Sars-CO-V-2 virus has undergone multiple mutations in the past year. Since its emergence that brought normal life to a standstill, there have been multiple variants of the virus. The Delta variant, which was first found in India, still continues to be the most dominating amongst all.
As the country finally finds its footing, the threat of a new variant has also started looming. Famously known as the South African variant (as several South African regions have become the epicenter), the Omicron variant is so far dubbed as the most transmissible mutation of the virus.
The Facts of the Matter
On December 2, 2021, the Health Ministry announced that 2 patients have been identified in Karnataka with the newly discovered Omicron variant. The two patients are the among the first few patients to have contracted the strain that has already spread waves of concerns across the globe.
Both Patients Foreigners, Identities to Not Be Disclosed
According to Mr. Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary of the Health Ministry, the two patients were reported from Karnataka. Both the patients are foreigners and are aged 46 and 66. Mr. Agarwal also claimed that their identities are not being disclosed to protect their human rights and privacy.
Omicron COVID-19 Patients Not Showing Severe Symptoms
Meanwhile, he added that the concerned authorities are already tracing and testing the persons that the two patients came in contact with. He further added that so far, the two patients have not shown any severe symptoms and the cases are mild.
As there’s less information about the nature of the variant, the Omicron has already sent waves of panic across the country. Citizens are also confused and concerned wither there will be another state-wide or nation-wide lockdown.
COVID Task Force Chief on Further Drastic Curbs
In his press brief, Mr. Lav added that there’s no need to panic while COVID-19 task force chief V.K. Paul said that there are no curbs planned.
“There is no need to panic about the Omicron detection but awareness is absolutely essential. Follow Coivd-appropriate behaviour, avoid gatherings,” Mr. Lav said.
“There will be no drastic curbs any time soon. The situation is well under control,” Dr. V.K Paul said.
‘Fully Vaccination Need of the Hour’
In the press-briefer, COVID-19 task force chief Dr. V.K. Paul also urged people to get fully vaccinated as it is currently ‘the need of the hour’. An ANI report quoted him saying, “Increased COVID-19 vaccine uptake need of the hour, do not delay in getting fully vaccinated.”
Increased COVID-19 vaccine uptake need of the hour, do not delay in getting fully vaccinated, says VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog pic.twitter.com/gF0qiMC9KW
— ANI (@ANI) December 2, 2021
More Info on Omicron Within ‘Days’: WHO
Meanwhile, earlier on Wednesday, the WHO COVID-19 technical lead claimed that there would be more information on the Omicron variant and its transmissibility within just a few days. Earlier last week, the WHO had said that it would take them at least “weeks” to understand the data and then conclusively make an assessment.
However, like all research so far, the COVID-19 technical lead also added that the variant may be more transmissible than the already highly transmissible Delta variant.