AIIMS Chief warns against the new variant Omicron, says “be prepared for any eventuality”


With the rising cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 around the world which has bombarded fresh fears in the minds of people, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr. Randeep Guleria on Sunday said that India should prepare itself for any eventuality given the adverse condition of Omicron in the United Kingdom.

He said that India should closely monitor the surge in cases around the world and be prepared against it rather than getting caught “off-guard”. “We should prepare and hope that things are not as bad as in the United Kingdom. We need more data on Omicron. Whenever there is a surge in cases in other parts of the world, we need to monitor it closely and be prepared for any eventuality. It is better to stay prepared than to get caught off-guard,” said Dr. Guleria while talking to ANI.

India has so far reported 152 cases of Omicron. The Omicron tally rose to 152 on Sunday after a 45-year-old Non Resident Indian (NRI), a 23-year old Tanzanian student, a teenage boy in Gujarat, and six others in Maharashtra tested positive for the variant. With this Maharashtra’s total tally of the new COVID-19 variant now stands at 54.

As per the central and state officials, the cases of Omicron strain of COVID-19 have so far been detected in 11 states and union territories. These include Maharashtra (54), Delhi (22), Rajasthan (17) and Karnataka (14), Telangana (20), Gujarat (9), Kerala (11), Andhra Pradesh (1), Chandigarh (1), Tamil Nadu (1) and West Bengal (1).

The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.

*(With ANI inputs)*

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