Is India due for a third wave? Omicron, a “very transmissible” new Covid strain, has spread to at least 59 nations. “A new variant does not mean that things will be worse, but it does mean that things will be more uncertain,” says WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Dr Poonam Khetrapal, as the new variant raises fears of a third wave in India.
“The pandemic hasn’t gone away. The global risk of COVID-19 remains high, owing to the outbreaks in other parts of the world and the introduction of new varieties “she clarified
She said, in an exclusive interview with NDTV, “We must not let our guard down in the South Asia region. We must continue to improve monitoring, public health, and social policies, as well as swiftly expand immunization coverage.”
The government has issued a warning against laxity, advising people to avoid wearing masks and delaying immunization.
Dr Khetrapal noted today that when countries throughout the world impose new limitations to stem the spread of Omicron, “Certain characteristics of Omicron, such as its global dissemination and a vast number of mutations, could have a significant impact on the pandemic’s outcome. It’s tough to say how much of an influence it will have. The WHO has asked countries to submit more data to assist establish a clearer picture. The data has been analyzed by tens of thousands of professionals.”
According to the senior authority, studies are being conducted to determine Omircon’s transmissibility, severity, and danger of reinfection, among other criteria.
“According to new data from South Africa, the probability of Omicron reinfection has increased. However, more data is required in order to draw more conclusions. Omicron may potentially induce a milder condition than Delta, according to some data. But it’s too early to draw any conclusions.”
The WHO has frequently stated that existing diagnostics, including PCR and antigen-based Rapid tests, are effective against the Covid virus and its variations.
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