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While scientists across the world are still awaiting more information on the new COVID variant Omicron, which was first reported in South Africa, a top health expert has warned that India should be prepared to fight a possible "third wave" which may be caused by the emerging variant keeping in mind its high transmissibility but possibly low fatality.

Why India should prepare for the third wave?

Speaking to ANI on Saturday, Executive Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bibinagar, Dr Vikas Bhatia, talking about the helpfulness of the Hybrid immunity in the possible wave, said, "It is very difficult to predict because, and even at this point of time when more than 30 countries have reported one or more cases, we are still waiting for some more information. So, in this phase, we should be preparing ourselves that a third wave may come but at the same time, it may be good news in case we find that this particular virus Omicron is not very fatal. So far no death has been reported from any part of the world."

Omicron case in India

Meanwhile, 21 cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been reported across the country. Out of these 21 cases, nine have been reported in Rajasthan, eight in Maharashtra, two in Karnataka and one each in Delhi and Gujarat.

New COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529

The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. 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'.

The central government on Saturday wrote to five states - Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram-- and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and expressed concern over a rapid increase in daily Covid cases and mortality rate and also underlined the danger posed by the Omicron variant. 

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