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As Omicron continues to spread, several questions remain about the infection and transmissibility of this covid variant. Health experts suggest that Omicron’s numerous mutations make the virus spread more rapidly, and evade existing immunity. So as the debate over Is Omicron really milder than Delta? is on, we tried to speak to experts and know about the severity of this variant of concern.

Why Omicron is milder than Delta?

"The Omicron Covid variant has been found to multiply about 70 times quicker than the original and Delta versions of coronavirus in the upper respiratory tract and this explains the rapid transmission. It has also been found that the new variant grew 10 times slower in lung tissue, which makes the disease lesser severe in the lungs, says Dr Trupti Gilada, Consultant Physician in Infectious Disease, Masina Hospital, Mumbai.

She further added that the immunity acquired by vaccination and previous infection also has added effect in making the disease mild without the proportion of severe infections, hospitalizations and death as seen with previous variants.

The common observation is that cases of Omicron variant have milder symptoms and patients are recovering in 3 to 5 days with basic management at home.

“Even though cases of Omicron are less likely to end up in the hospital than cases of Delta, it is not possible to say whether this is due to inherent differences in virulence or whether this is due to higher population immunity in November compared to earlier in the year after which this variant was detected," says Dr Harish Chafle, Senior Consultant - Pulmonology and Critical Care at Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai.

On Sunday, India added 2,71,202 new coronavirus infections to the Covid case tally that reached 3,71,22,164, including 7,743 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The country saw 1,702 new cases of Omicron variant, the highest in a day so far.

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