New Delhi [India], December 19 (ANI): With almost 90 countries reporting cases of Omicron, health experts in India believe that due to its high transmissibility rate, the number of cases of the new COVID-19 variant may outpace the speed at which the Delta variant surged during the devastating second wave earlier this year. According to experts a likely third coronavirus wave in the country projected to peak in the country in February 2022, will be milder.
Evidence has shown that the Omicron variant multiplies at a faster rate thereby causing infection at a faster rate and it has also been found that the new variant is also more capable of evading the immune system than delta.
They state that if a huge population gets affected by B.1.1.529, the new SARS-COV2 strain, there might be “more of its sub-clans” in the future.
However, the cases reported in India have so far shown mild symptoms like tiredness and sore throat and most infected people are recovering from home.
Dr Deshdeepak, Senior Chest Physician at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital said: “Omicron has been labelled as a Variant of Concern by the WHO. Almost 90 countries have been affected by now. It appears to be highly transmissible. As of now, Delta variant is the most prevalent strain in the world but with high transmissibility, Omicron may take over the Delta variant.””We may see a spike in cases and we may see another wave as it is a new variant that is more transmissible than delta variant. However, cases with mild symptoms have been reported so far,” the health expert added.
Health experts who have been dealing with COVID patients since the beginning have warned people to continue to strictly follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
Earlier on Saturday, Vidyasagar, who is also the head of the National COVID-19 Supermodel Committee, said that India will have a third COVID wave but it will be milder than the second wave.
“Third wave is likely to arrive early next year in India. It should be milder than the second wave due to a large-scale immunity present in the country now. There will definitely be a third wave. Right now, we are at around 7,500 cases per day which is sure to go up once Omicron starts displacing Delta as the dominant variant,” he told ANI.
According to Vidyasagar, in the worst scenario, India will not have more than two lakh cases per day in case the third wave grips the country.
“I emphasize that these are projections, not predictions. We can start making predictions once we know how the virus is behaving in the Indian population. Based on our simulations, in the worst scenario that we have simulated, namely total loss of immunity conferred due to vaccination and maximum loss of naturally induced immunity, the number of cases remains below 1.7 to 1.8 lakh cases per day. This is less than half of the peak during the second wave.”At present, India’s Omicron tally has crossed 140 cases including those in Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and other states.
The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.
On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’. (ANI)