Bengaluru: ‘Seen 30 Omicron variants, herd immunity our strength’, says experts

Since almost everyone has been vaccinated with two doses and most people have taken the booster, the fear of hospitalisation is less.

Published: 27th December 2022 05:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th December 2022 05:17 AM   |  A+A-

Four syringes and a screen displaying the word 'Omicron', the name of the new covid 19 variant.

Image used for representational purposes (Photo | AFP)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Experts, virologists and members of the Indian Sars-Cov2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) have stated that the country has seen around 30 variants of Omicron and the new one is not a matter of concern the way it is being termed. They added that herd immunity is our strength in combating any new variant, except for the incidence of any new virus, apart from Omicron, being reported from China.

Noted virologist

Dr Anita S Desai told The New Indian Express that so far, four cases of the new Omicron variant have been reported in India, in Gujarat and Odisha. “We do not know much about the new variant. But the cases have not been severe. There is nothing to worry, since over 30 variants of Omicron have been detected so far, and we are all well-protected. Mutations keep happening, but whether it is virulent or more invasive is what now needs to be seen,” she said.

Since almost everyone has been vaccinated with two doses and most people have taken the booster, the fear of hospitalisation is less. “Besides, we have built herd immunity, which is our strength,” she said.

Infection rising in winter
Allaying fears that cases of viral infection and Covid-19 are usually seen rising in winter, she explained that rain has no impact on the virus, but cases rise as it effects immunity. Hence, following guidelines is the way out.

In the meantime, another INSACOG member said, “So far, our immunity is effective with all Omicron variants. But our worry will rise, if any new variant, which is not Omicron, is reported and is circulating in China, while not being reported. We need to keep a close watch on this. Genome sequencing of all samples is the way forward in addressing this issue. The government also needs to enhance surveillance and booster coverage.”


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