No case of Omicron variant in India so far, all measures being taken: Centre tells Parliament
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya speaking in the Upper House said that the COVID-19 situation is under control in India at present but the country is not free from this disease and Covid-appropriate behaviour should be followed
New Delhi: India has so far not reported any case of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed Parliament on Tuesday, underlining that the government has taken measures to ensure that it does not reach the country.
The Centre has issued an advisory after looking at developments globally and is keeping a close watch on ports, he said, adding genome sequencing of suspected cases is being done.
During Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said, "Omicron variant has been found in 14 countries now. It is being studied here although it has not been reported in India."
Stressing that there is a need to take all precautions, the minister said, "We have learnt a lot during the pandemic. We have resources and labs to check.
At present, no Omicron variant has been reported in India and all measures have been taken to ensure this variant does not reach the country, he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'
According to the minister, the COVID-19 situation is under control in India at present but the country is not free from this disease and Covid-appropriate behaviour should be followed.
The house-door vaccination drive is still on and about 70-80 lakh doses are being administered on a daily basis, he said, adding 124 crore doses of the vaccine has been administered so far in the country.
Responding to another query, the Union minister said there was slow down in testing of tuberculosis during the COVID-19 lockdown period but surveillance and testing has been stepped up now.
As per an analysis by a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cough, fatigue, congestion and runny nose are the four most common symptoms of the Omicron variant
Those unvaccinated can have a severe form of COVID-19 after Omicron infection, says WHO expert amid rising cases
Maria van Kerkhove, the health agency's technical lead on coronavirus, said that the surge of infections across the world is putting a significant burden on health care systems which are already severely overburdened
The daily positivity rate has climbed up to 13.11 percent while the weekly positivity rate is now at 10.80 percent. The Omicron variant count has also risen to 5,488, a jump from 4,868