Omicron: India's tally rises to 33 after Delhi's second case
Delhi on Saturday reported its second case of Omicron. A person with a travel history involving Zimbabwe and South Africa tested positive for the new variant of coronavirus. They were fully vaccinated against the virus. India has detected nearly three dozen infections involving the Omicron strain, which is said to be more transmissible than other coronavirus variants. Here are more details on this.
Why does it matter?
- With Delhi's second case, India's tally of Omicron cases has climbed to 33 in just over a week.
- The variant has been found to be as much as 4.2 times more transmissible in its early stage compared to the Delta strain, according to a study by a top Japanese scientist.
- It is also by far the most heavily mutated version of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Delhi patient being treated at LNJP Hospital
The Delhi patient is undergoing treatment at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital and has reported weakness, officials said according to PTI. Earlier, a 37-year-old fully vaccinated person who returned from Tanzania became the first Omicron patient in the national capital. The patient, a resident of Ranchi, had traveled to Delhi on December 2.
Other states that reported cases
Besides Delhi, Omicron cases have also been found in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. Maharashtra currently has the highest number of infections at 17 and patients include a three-year-old child, according to health officials. Meanwhile, authorities in the state capital Mumbai have banned gatherings and rallies for Saturday and Sunday in view of the rising cases.
Central government advises caution
On Friday, officials of the central government warned against laxity amid the threat posed by Omicron. They stressed the importance of vaccination and face masks. "WHO (World Health Organization) is warning against the decline in mask usage. The global scene of Omicron is disturbing...We are now operating at a risky level," said Dr. VK Paul, the chief of the Centre's COVID-19 task force.
Booster shot effective against Omicron
Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are not enough to prevent you from catching the Omicron variant, according to scientists in the United Kingdom. But a booster shot prevents around 75% of people from reporting any coronavirus symptoms, their analysis found. The United States-based Pfizer and BioNTech also said an additional dose of vaccine may be needed.