India’s tally for the new Omicron variant went up to 21 yesterday. The government has answered a few important questions with regards to the new variant and how dangerous it is.
Centre on the severity of the Omicron variant
The Centre stated that the symptoms for the variant are mild and there are no severe symptoms, Joint Secretary of Union Health Ministry Luv Agrawal said. The Centre said after reports came up regarding the mild symptoms across the world.
How much is the vaccine effective towards Omicron?
ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava stated that it is still very early to say anything about how much is the new variant transmissible and how much is the vaccine effective towards it. He further added that they have to isolate the variant and test it in labs before they have an answer.
The head of COVID 19’s task force Dr VK paul said that the vaccine manufacturers are testing and analysing the vaccine efficacy for the new variant.
What is the strategy to tackle the new challenge of Omicron?
The health ministry said that the public must not panic and following the COVID 19 protocols like wearing masks and getting vaccinated is the best they can do. They also stated that people must avoid social mass gatherings.
VK Paul said that the vaccine remains the most critical tool. He further added that it is a relief that we have vaccines in abundance now. The new variant can affect the efficacy of the vaccine, but it was the same case for the Delta variant too. He said that what matters now is getting everyone vaccinated.
Will there be booster shots?
The Centre said that the decision for providing booster shots is ‘under examination’ but currently they are focusing on getting everyone vaccinated.
Will there be a lockdown?
Dr VK Paul stated that there is no requirement for a lockdown. With the advent of the Omicron variant, it has become even more fundamental to adopt the ‘universal vaccine’ — masks.
With double-digit cases already emerging in India, the discussions and debate for the new variant are on the rise leading to a lot of confusion in airports. However, people are missing the main point that matters are following proper COVID 19 protocols to avoid it. There are more discussions and rumours while people are still going out without masks.
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