Omicron: Sisodia says can’t lower guard, Centre, states to monitor variant
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Monday the Centre apprised the Delhi Development Management Authority (DDMA) about the omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), adding that the guard should not be lowered irrespective of how deadly the variant is.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Sisodia said, “Experts from the Centre have provided DDMA details that they have so far gathered about the new variant. The Centre said that it is keeping a watch and states have to ensure the same. We should not lower our guard irrespective of how deadly the variant is, or how much effectiveness a vaccine has against it.”
Sisodia added that if Covid-19 cases increase due to any reason, the Delhi government has made necessary arrangements keeping in mind the crisis faced during the second wave of the pandemic in April and May this year.
On Sunday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop flights from countries that have been affected by the omicron variant.
"Our country has fought a tough fight against coronavirus for the last one-and-a-half years. We should do everything possible to prevent the new variant of concern from entering India," Kejriwal said in his letter to the Prime Minister.
He added that a delay in stopping flights might prove to be harmful if a variant-infected person enters India.
The omicron variant of Covid-19 had been initially identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a 'variant of concern'. However, the WHO said on Monday that the risk related to the variant is 'very high'.
Detected first in South Africa, the omicron variant has a higher number of mutations and has been spreading very quickly.
Till now, India has not reported any cases of the variant. However, the Centre said on Monday that two clusters are under investigation in Maharashtra and Karnataka.