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India’s Omicron Wave May Intensify In Coming Weeks, Say Experts

Most cases of the Omicron variant have been mild, the advisory group said, although hospitalisations and cases in intensive care were increasing

India's Omicron Wave May Intensify In Coming Weeks, Say Experts
Omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in multiple metros
Highlights
  • Omicron is now in community transmission in India: INSACOG
  • Cases in cities like Mumbai and Pune are the tip of the iceberg: Dr Salunke
  • 8% decline in average daily cases in the last four days: Health Ministry

New Delhi: India’s COVID-19 infections, led by the Omicron variant, may see a sharp rise in the coming weeks, some top experts said, noting that the variant was already in community transmission and hospitals were seeing more patients despite a decline in cases in major cities. The country reported 3,06,064 new infections over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said, about an 8% decline from the average daily cases reported in the last four days. Deaths were 439, the lowest in five days.But weekly positivity rates have risen to 17.03% in the week to Jan. 24, from about 0.63% Dec. 27, led by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.

Omicron is now in community transmission in India and has become dominant in multiple metros, a report by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) said on January 10 in a report released on Sunday.

Also Read: Omicron – Should It Be Treated As Common Cold? Top Doctors Say We Should Not Make That Mistake

Most cases of the Omicron variant have been mild, the advisory group said, although hospitalisations and cases in intensive care were increasing. In last two weeks major cities such as the capital, Delhi, and financial hub Mumbai in the wealthiest state of Maharashtra, have been reporting big falls in cases after hitting peaks. That might change, said Dr. Subhash Salunke, a member of the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research and the national taskforce on COVID, as the variant is spreading to semi-urban and rural areas. The state expects to see multiple peaks in the next eight to 10 weeks, said Dr. Salunke, who previously advised the Maharashtra government.

The number of cases in cities like Mumbai and Pune are the tip of the iceberg, Dr. Salunke told Reuters, adding that the deadly Delta variant from the previous wave was also circulating.

The country’s tally of overall infections reached 39.54 million, the second-highest globally behind the United States. The country has seen 489,848 people die of the virus.

Also Read: Omicron Is Highly Infectious, Everyone Will Get It: Epidemiologist From ICMR

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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