Omicron in 90 per cent of Metro COVID cases

Genomic surveillance data showed that in 90% of cases in Mumbai and Delhi, the Omicron variant is the dominant strain.

Published: 22nd January 2022 10:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2022 10:03 AM   |  A+A-

New COVID Variant

For representational purposes (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Omicron now accounts for over 90% of Covid-19 cases in India. It  is slowly spreading to the major metros, according to a top scientist.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research’s Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, Dr Samiran Panda, Omicron genome sequencing data has shown it is becoming the predominant variant in metros.

Genomic surveillance data showed that in 90% of cases in Mumbai and Delhi, the Omicron variant is the dominant strain. Though he said that Omicron-led spread would be seen in other Indian metro cities in the coming weeks, it will not completely replace the Delta variant, which is more deadly.

“Omicron is gradually taking shape. We have to keep a watch,” Dr Panda said. 

India on Friday reported 3,47,254 new Covid cases. Active cases topped the two-million mark as the Omicron-led surge continued. Active cases have increased to 20,18,825, the highest in 235 days.

Professor K Srinath Reddy, president of Public Health Foundation of India, also stressed that as Omicron is spreading fast replacing Delta, India needs to slow its spread while speeding up double dose vaccination for all eligible persons and protective (booster) doses for high-risk groups. 

“Though Omicron mostly causes milder disease, we need to slow down the transmission to prevent large-scale disruption of the workforce and high pressure on health systems by many persons needing attention,” he added.

Reddy said the focus should be on “energetically completing the vaccination coverage” in two months. India has done 1.64 lakh genomes sequencing so far.

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