Covid-19 Omicron cases to rise in India, infections will be mild: Expert

India recorded 122 cases of the Omicron variant on Friday.

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Agencies file
Agencies file

Published: Sat 25 Dec 2021, 2:27 PM

The surge in Omicron Covid cases in India will continue to rise, but the infection will mostly be mild as happened in South Africa, Dr Angelique Coetzee, chairperson of the South African Medical Association, who first identified the variant, told the media in Pretoria.

While disagreeing with some experts who suggested that the Omicron would lead to an end of the Covid-19 pandemic, Coetzee said it could result in being lowered to an endemic (while a pandemic sees exponential growth of a disease, an epidemic sees it being limited to a specific region or country and the spread is predictable).

India recorded 122 cases of the Omicron variant on Friday, the highest so far, and the total went up to 415; but 115 people have recovered so far. Maharashtra tops the list at 108, followed by Delhi (79), Gujarat (43), Telangana (38), Kerala (37), Tamil Nadu (34) and Karnataka (31).

“For now, Omicron is not threatening but it is fast spreading with a high infectivity rate, but less severe cases in hospitals,” explained Coetzee. “The virus' sole purpose is to infect a warm body and to survive. And children are also being infected by it, but they are recovering in an average of five-six days.”

According to Coetzee, existing vaccines will definitely control the spread, but the unvaccinated are “at 100 per cent risk.”


However, one cannot rely on vaccines alone, she pointed out. “Human behaviour unfortunately also plays a huge role and one also needs to be responsible and take ownership of what you do. Vaccines, boosters, masks, good ventilation, stay away from crowds and common sense,” explained Coetzee. “Also know the symptoms and when to test, when to see a doctor and get treatment.”

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