India’s Omicron tally is steadily rising with fresh cases of the variant in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi, taking the total count in the country to 21.
Out of these 21 cases, nine have been reported in Rajasthan, eight in Maharashtra, two in Karnataka and one each in Delhi and Gujarat.
Here are some of the developments on the Omicron variant in India that you need to know.
While scientists across the world are still awaiting more information on the new COVID variant Omicron, which was first reported in South Africa, a top health expert has warned that India should be prepared to fight a possible “third wave” which may be caused by the emerging variant keeping in mind its high transmissibility but possibly low fatality.
The central government on 4th wrote to five states – Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram– and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and expressed concern over a rapid increase in daily Covid cases and mortality rate and also underlined the danger posed by the Omicron variant.
Seventeen new cases of the new variant were detected on 5th of December alone. Most of those who tested positive either recently arrived from African countries or were in contact with such people.
The central government has put in place strict travel restrictions on people arriving from abroad, especially from countries identified as ‘at risk’.
The emergence of the new strain of coronavirus has also dented India’s plans to restart international travel from December 15.
US health officials have said that while the omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, has also said that scientists need more information before drawing conclusions about omicron’s severity.