- Omicron at least three times more transmissible than the Delta: Centre
- Dr Randeep Guleria urged people to get vaccinated at the earliest
- Avoid gatherings which can become super spreader event: Dr Guleria
New Delhi: Amid the rise in cases of the Omicron variant in India, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Wednesday (December 22) emphasised the need to adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour while observing that people have become lax in following these norms. Asserting that current data shows vaccines are effective and give protection against severe disease and death, he stressed that those eligible for vaccination should get the jabs promptly and those who have got the first dose should not miss out on the second shot.
Also Read: As Omicron Surges, Bill Gates Says The World Could Be Entering The Worst Part Of The Covid Pandemic
“It is observed that laxity has crept in among people in observing Covid-appropriate behaviour.”
Omicron is highly transmissible and therefore adhering to Covid norms is very important. People should regularly wear masks, maintain physical distance and avoid gatherings which can become superspreader events, Dr Guleria told PTI.
While remarking that Omicron is at least three times more transmissible than the Delta variant of coronavirus, the Centre on Tuesday (December 21) asked states and Union Territories to activate war rooms, keep analysing all trends and surges, ensure proper data analysis, and take strict containment action at the local and district levels.
In a letter, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised states and Union Territories to implement strategic interventions for containment like imposition of night curfew, strict regulation of large gatherings, curtailing numbers in marriages and funerals besides increasing testing and surveillance.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, when asked whether the vaccines given in the country are effective in developing immunity against the latest variant, said on Tuesday that available data is limited and peer-reviewed evidence on vaccine efficacy or effectiveness for Omicron is unavailable to date. “While there is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work against Omicron variant of coronavirus, some of the mutations reported on spike gene may decrease the efficacy of existing vaccines.”
However, vaccine protection is also by antibodies as well as by cellular immunity, which is expected to be relatively better preserved. Hence vaccines are expected to still offer protection against severe disease and, vaccination with the available vaccines remains crucial.
Also Read: Omicron Effect: How The National Capital – Delhi Is Preparing To Fight The New COVID-19 Strain
(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 population, indigenous 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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual 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.