India sees reduced impact of Omicron due to vaccination, previous infection

FILE PHOTO: Raising awareness against novel coronavirus Omicron variant in Mumbai
Students apply finishing touches to paintings made to create awareness against the novel coronavirus variant Omicron, in Mumbai, India, November 29, 2021. REUTERS / Niharika Kulkarni / File Photo

December 3, 2021

By Krishna N. Das

The Department of Health says the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will cause less serious illness. to the Delta variant that infected nearly 70% of the population in July.

Grassroots doctors protested demands to increase staff numbers, warning dire situations if the new variant overwhelmed healthcare facilities, despite nearly half of India’s 944 million adults Degree has been fully vaccinated.

As many as 84% ​​have received at least one dose of the drug, with more than 125 million people due to get a second dose by the end of November, as the government pushes further to inject the drug in the face of Omicron.

“Given the rapid rate of immunization in India and the high level of exposure to the Delta variant… the severity of the disease is expected to be low,” the ministry said in a statement. An announcement. “However, the scientific evidence is still evolving.”

Both India’s first Omicron patients, reported on Thursday, had mild symptoms, the ministry added.

But concern about the prospect of a third wave of infections has grown after the variant was found in the southern state of Karnataka, in a person with no recent history of travel.

The department told parliament its immunization experts were weighing the need for a booster dose, after many lawmakers ordered a third shot for healthcare workers and vulnerable people.

It added that discussions about vaccinating 145 million children aged 12 to 17 are underway.

New cases have spiked at around 10,000 people over the past few weeks after hospitals and healthcare facilities were flooded in April and May by a second record increase in infections and death caused by the Delta variant.

The number of new COVID-19 infections stood at 9,216 on Friday, as some residents moved away from nonessential work to spur requests for additional staff by enrolling new graduate students.

“We want justice,” several students shouted during a protest at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in the capital, while signs placarded nearby. “We are humans, not robots. ”

An aide to Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A national group of doctors at dozens of government hospitals told the minister in a letter, “Health care facilities across the country are experiencing a shortage of the workforce suitable for residents.

“With the potential for a future wave of a COVID-19 pandemic, the situation would be dire.”

The government has had to delay admission of students because of legal disputes over issues such as making room for poor applicants.

India has one of the worst doctor-to-patient ratios in the world 2021-11-17 , but Prime Minister Narendra Modi said more doctors will come -11-17 at the next decade or so in the first 70 years since independence from Britain.

Government figures show India’s number of COVID-19 infections at 34.62 million, with the death toll rising by 391 on Friday to 470,115.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Anuron Kumar Mitra; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Clarence Fernandez) India sees reduced impact of Omicron due to vaccination, previous infection


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