When it seemed that the covid-19 pandemic is waning fast, a fresh wave has swept across many nations across the globe with a new variant Omicron spelling fresh trouble. Though we have witnessed very few cases of the new variant across various cities in India but the threat the new variant holds is quite serious and alarming as well.
In the US Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus accounting for 73 per cent of new infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers showed nearly a six-fold increase in omicron’s share of infections in only one week. In much of the country, it’s even higher.
Omicron is responsible for an estimated 90 per cent or more of new infections in the New York area, the Southeast, the industrial Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. The national rate suggests that more than 650,000 omicron infections occurred in the US last week.
Since the end of June, the delta variant had been the main version causing US infections. As recently as the end of November, more than 99.5 per cent of coronaviruses were caused by the delta variant.
The rate of infection and spread of Omicron variant have been surprising experts since it made its presence felt. Though reports suggest that not more than 200 cases have been reported across India since the past ten days but still lot of caution and adherence to covid-19 protocol needs to be adhered to.
Interestingly, the scientists in Africa first sounded the alarm about omicron less than a month ago and on November 26 the World Health Organization designated it as a variant of concern. The mutant has since shown up in about 90 countries.
Though much about the omicron variant remains unknown, including whether it causes more or less severe illness, however, early studies suggest the vaccinated will need a booster shot for the best chance at preventing omicron infection but even without the extra dose, vaccination still should offer strong protection against severe illness and death.
Though there remain a lot of new infections caused by the delta variant, it is anticipated that over time that delta will be crowded out by omicron.
Right now we may boast of fewer covid-19 fresh infections and a much lower death rate but experts have been warning about a possible fresh wave across many Indian cities. The threat becomes all the more serious as the entire north, western and even central India is experiencing winter season which makes it all the more important for us to strictly adhere to various SOP’s regarding the covid-19.
We may at this point of time claim to be having an upper hand but the caution and lowering of guard is not advisable especially when most of the traits of this new strain are yet to be experienced.