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NEW DELHI : Indian scientists are studying the Omicron variant of coronavirus and suggesting measures to contain it with the help of new data every day, but self-awareness and self-discipline will be India’s strength in the fight against it," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday during his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast.

As the cases of Omicron rise, Modi said that though India has achieved an “unprecedented feat" in its covid-19 vaccination drive, it is important for people to be vigilant. “It is this very collective strength of ours that will defeat coronavirus; with this very sense of responsibility, we have to enter into 2022."

On Saturday, Modi had said that starting 3 January, vaccination will start for children in the age group of 15-18 years.

The move is likely to aid in normalizing in-school classes, and parents will be less worried about school-going children. Modi also announced a precaution dose for health care and frontline workers from 10 January.

“This step was taken in view of the amount of time frontline and health care workers spend in the service of covid patients. In India, this has been called the ‘precaution dose’, not a booster dose. The decision of precaution dose will strengthen the confidence of health care and frontline workers," Modi said.

The PM said senior citizens or those above 60 years with co-morbidities would also have the option to take the precaution dose on the advice of their doctors from 10 January.

Referring to Omicron infections In India, Modi urged the people not to panic but follow precautions such as wearing masks and washing hands.

“The seriousness of vaccine was identified very early, and along with research, we also focussed on the approval process, supply chain, distribution, training, IT support system and certification," he said. Due to the efforts, 61% of the adult population of the country has received both the vaccines and 90% adults have received one dose," he said in his address to the nation. In his Mann Ki Baat address on Sunday, the prime minister also spoke about Group Captain Varun Singh, who succumbed to his injuries last week.

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