IMA warns of 'massive third wave' amid Omicron threat, urges public to follow COVID-19 protocols
The medical body also urged the government to announce 'additional' doses of the jab for healthcare, frontline workers and immunocompromised individuals.
Amid surging cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in India, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday warned of another wave of infections and urged the government to announce "additional" doses of the jab for healthcare, frontline workers and immunocompromised individuals.
IMA also sought that the government expedites the proposal of vaccinating individuals aged 12 to 18 years, saying that it is scientifically evident that the Omicron cases will increase, and stated, "If we do not take adequate measures, we may have a massive third wave."
With the scientific evidence available and the experience noted in countries of origin, it is evident that the Omicron variant will have high penetrability and will affect more people, the IMA claimed.
Noting that India has administered 1.26 billion jabs, the body said vaccination has proved that it will prevent severe forms of infection.
"IMA appeals to the government to officially announce additional dose (of vaccine) be given to healthcare, frontline workers and immunocompromised individuals to augment the immunity," the doctors' body said.
The body also urged people to avoid and put on hold massive social gatherings and ensure adherence to covid-appropriate behaviour, including wearing of masks and washing of hands.
It also urged the government to announce "additional" doses of the Covid vaccine for healthcare, frontline workers and immunocompromised individuals.
"At this juncture, IMA also appeals to the government to officially announce additional dose (of vaccine) be given to healthcare, frontline workers and immunocompromised individuals to augment the immunity," the doctors' body said.
Expressing concern about the manpower shortage in the healthcare sector, the IMA said, "It is disastrous to note the postponement of NEET-PG admission in medical colleges." "This will result in a shortage of almost two batches of postgraduates, one appearing for the exam and one waiting for admission. This will result in nearly one lakh young resident doctors not being available to tackle the crisis.
With inputs from PTI
The study by IISc-ISI, Bengaluru, has predicted that the coronavirus curve for India could start flattening by March-beginning
The Omicron tally reached 4,868. Maharashtra has the highest number of cases (1,281) of the new variant, followed by Rajasthan
The 73-year-old man, who was found infected with Omicron in genome sequencing and who had tested negative for the infection twice, died in a Udaipur hospital on 31 December, said the Union health ministry