Home / News / India /  Omicron: ‘No clear evidence yet on transmissibility, severity in India’

Omicron threat: There is no clear evidence yet on the transmissibility, immune evasion or severity of Omicron in India, country's top expert panel — Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) — said in its latest bulletin released on Monday. 

The panel noted that Omicron variant continues to grow rapidly as a variant of concern globally. Published on Monday, the bulletin said that public health measures and investigations are being conducted to look into the new variant.

"At this time, there is no clear evidence regarding transmissibility, immune evasion, or severity in India," the panel said.

The bulletin further said that while the Delta variant continues to be the main variant of concern globally, Omicron continues to grow rapidly. 

"Cases have continued to increase in South Africa, with a smaller but clear rise in hospitalizations. Pending complete genomic sequencing, in the UK, S-gene target failure has shown a very rapid increase in likely Omicron cases and this would represent a significant growth advantage against Delta," the INSACOG said.

The panel said there are some indicators that the disease may be milder with Omicron, but there is insufficient data to determine whether this is because of prior infections or vaccination. "There is insufficient data for Omicron severity in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated older subjects," it said. 

India has so far reported over 150 cases of Omicron variant. 

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Sunday said that in view of rising cases in the United Kingdom, India should prepare itself for any eventuality. 

"We should prepare and hope that things are not as bad as in the UK. 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 Guleria while talking to ANI.

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

With inputs from PTI

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