We Need More Data On Omicron: AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria

Randeep Guleria on Omicron, Randeep Guleria on Delta plus,
Dr Randeep Guleria on Omicron: India must hope and prepare that the COVID-19 situation does not get as bad as the one in the United Kingdom currently. This statement was made by Dr Randeep Guleria, All India Institute of Medical Sciences director.

“We should prepare and hope that things should not be as bad as in the United Kingdom. We need more data. Whenever there is a surge in cases in other parts of the world, we need to monitor it closely and be prepared for any eventuality,” said Guleria, further adding that more data was needed on the new coronavirus variant Omicron.

The United Kingdom has reported more than 10,000 new cases of Omicron on Saturday. This was their highest daily surge.  The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed these numbers, taking the total number of reported cases in the UK to 24,968.

Keeping this surge in mind, Mumbai has issued strict travel guidelines for people coming from the United Kingdom. At Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) passengers coming from high-risk countries like the United Kingdom must undergo mandatory RT-PCR test.

Suggested Reading: Omicron FAQ: Is It A ‘Super-Variant?’ Can It Evade Vaccines?

Omicron, a new coronavirus variant in India is spreading rapidly, the health ministry warned on Friday. India had recorded  7447 cases of COVID-19 on Friday. While the coronavirus cases seem to be on a declining curve, the Omicron has started spreading at an alarming rate. While the Indian Health Ministry had said that the tally had crossed 100 on December 17, warning that the variant is spreading at an alarming rate, by December 20, the number has gone up to 156.

World Health Organisation has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. “It’s likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, WHO added,” Agrawal said.

The states that have been affected by Omicron in India are Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujrat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

The first cases of Omicron were detected in India in Karnataka on December 2, 2021, when two cases of the variant were reported- one of whom had no travel history.  South Africa had reported its first Omicron case on November 24, 2021. Subsequently, World Health Organisation had declared Omicron as a “variant of concern” two days later.

“Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs,” World Health Organisation had said in its early statement on the variant.

Image Credit: The Indian Express