Omicron Driving Covid Spike in Metros, But No Need to Panic Even if Cases Rise, Says Covid Task Force Head

Cases of Omicron variant are rapidly increasnig in metro cities and the current surge of Covid-19 infections in these big cities are driven by the new variant, Dr NK Arora, the head of country’s vaccine task force said.

The Chairman of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) also said that escape capability of Omicron against vaccine is very high and the efficacy of a booster shot is still being evaluated.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Dr NK Arora said, “The proportion of Omicron is rapidly increasing in metro cities. In coming weeks we are going to see a large number of cases and most of these are going to be Omicron.”

“The vaccine escape capability of Omicron is very high. So what value a booster will do is still being evaluated. However, our primary task is that everybody should get two doses because it has been seen that all those who have received primary doses, the risk of severity, hospitalisation and death is much less.” he added.

India is seeing a huge surge of Covid cases in the country as the national capital recorded 3,194 fresh infections today, which is the highest daily case since May 20, when India was in the mid of the deadly second wave. Mumbai reported 8,063 fresh cases, recording a 27% jump from Saturday when the city registered 6,347 fresh infections. In West Bengal, the daily cases reached 6,153 while Kolkata’s positivity rate is currently at 33%.

Arora also said that the primary task should be to vaccinate everyone with two doses. The risk of hospitalisation is very low for fully vaccinated people, he said.

The statement comes as Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said 84 percent of total Covid-19 cases in the national capital are now of the Omicron variant. The health minister said positivity rate in the city had reached 6%.

On the rising cases in the country, the NTAGI head said that most patients don’t require hospitalisation and added that there is no need to panic even if the number of cases rise.

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