Understanding Omicron, the new Covid variant
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Understanding Omicron, the new Covid variant

The Union Health Ministry confirmed 2 cases of Omicron, a new Covid variant in India on Thursday

Understanding Omicron, the new Covid variant

The Union Health Ministry confirmed 2 cases of Omicron, the new Covid variant which has the whole world on tenterhooks. According to Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of the Union Home Ministry both cases have been detected from Karnataka.

One of the men is said to be a South African, who has already left India. Another one is a 46-year-old doctor from Bangalore. Their primary and secondary contacts have been traced and tested.

According to an official release, five contacts of a 46-year-old man have tested positive and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to determine the variant. Health officials have mentioned that infected people are showing mild symptoms but it is important to follow all the Covid protocols.

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People in India have returned to normal routine but the arrival of this new variant has again left everyone worried and frightened. In the wake of taking precautions, the Central Government has released new travel restrictions. Starting from December 1, it is mandatory for all the international passengers arriving in India, especially from the countries at-risk like the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Hong Kong and Israel to get the RT PCR test on arrival.

Those who test positive will be quarantined, treated and their sample will be sent for genome sequencing to identify the variant. People who will be tested negative will be quarantined for seven days at home and tested again the next day.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, to implement new guidelines, Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi has increased the number of seats in the premises where RT PCR tests are done from 1,000 to 1,400. This is to ensure premier social distancing while getting tested.

India is reporting less than 10,000 cases per day and has vaccinated almost 80% of 940 million eligible adults with at least 1 dose. Chief scientist of WHO, Dr Saumya Swaminathan shared that it will take some time to process the severity, trainability and to clearly understand the whole clinical picture of Omicron but till then it is very important to get fully vaccinated and continue following all the covid protocols.