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