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Omicron A Serious Issue, India Has Taken It Very Seriously: Dr Mohan Gupte

As the cases of Omicron have seen a surge globally, Dr Mohan Gupte, the founder-director of ICMR Epidemiology Department in Chennai, said that it is a “serious issue”

Dr Gupte further stressed that there is “no reason to be afraid” on Omicron being detected in children.
Dr Gupte further stressed that there is “no reason to be afraid” on Omicron being detected in children
  • Conflicting reports on how vaccines are going to work on Omicron: Dr Gupte
  • In children, the disease seems to be very mild: Dr Gupte
  • There is hardly any hospitalisation due to Omicron: Dr Gupte

New Delhi: Omicron is a differently mutated virus and India has taken the variant very seriously, said Dr Mohan Gupte (retd), the founder-director of ICMR Epidemiology Department in Chennai on Wednesday. As far as India is concerned, we have taken Omicron very seriously. India had some time to respond and are keeping everything ready in case we get a large number of cases and they need some hospitalisation, Dr Gupte told ANI.

As the cases of Omicron have seen a surge, Dr Gupte said that it is a “serious issue.”

However, as per the observation of cases in South Africa, where Omicron first emerged, Dr Gupte said that it is a “very mild type of disease” adding that it is still an early stage.

Also Read: WHO’s New Update On Omicron: “Highly Unlikely” To Fully Dodge Vaccine Protection

Dr Gupte further stressed that there is “no reason to be afraid” on Omicron being detected in children.

In children, the disease seems to be very mild. Severities are low. There is hardly any hospitalisation. There is no mortality at all, he said.

According to Dr Gupte, there are “conflicting reports” on how vaccines are going to work on Omicron.

Omicron is a differently mutated virus. In the context of Omicron, we are not sure how the vaccines are going to work. Some reports state that a booster dose will increase immunity and the severity of the diseases will go down. Some also state that infection cannot be prevented. There are some other reports which stated that with so many mutations, 32 mutations in the spike protein, we cannot take things for granted, Dr Gupte said.

Also Read: How Big Is The Threat Of The Omicron Variant Of Coronavirus?

Noting that the virus cannot be taken for granted, especially in case of those having comorbidities, Dr Gupte said booster dose should be given to such categories.

As for the decision on vaccines for children, Dr Gupte said,

We expect that in about six months’ time, vaccines for children should be available. There are developments already. As far as Covaxin is concerned, it’s ready. They have demonstrated very efficacious results in children.

(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 the 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, which 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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