Omicron especially dangerous for the unvaccinated, warns WHO
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is dangerous, and especially so for those who have not been vaccinated against the disease, the World Health Organisation said Wednesday.
"While Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it remains a dangerous virus, particularly for those who are unvaccinated," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
Echoing the recent concerns expressed by the WHO that people are wrongly considering Omicron as mild, the central government said on Wednesday that Omicron is “not a common cold.”
“It is not so simple and neither should it be taken so lightly,” said Niti Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul said during the weekly press conference of the health ministry. “And even if Omicron appears less severe, it is because of the extensive vaccination coverage that we have achieved. The same Omicron has challenged the health infrastructure of many countries.”
Giving an overall picture of the country's present Covid-19 situation, the ministry said a total of 300 districts in India are reporting a weekly Covid-19 case positivity rate of more than 5 per cent.
Maharashtra West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, and Gujarat are states of concern, the ministry said.
Notably, the Union health ministry on Wednesday released Covid's weekly positivity rate of the high-risk cities and revealed that in the past week Kolkata had the highest positivity rate, as high as 60.29 per cent, higher than Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai. The weekly positivity rate which is the 7-day average of positivity rate provides a peek into the spread of the virus.
Kolkata has seen the highest weekly positivity rate, the health ministry said.
According to the government data, in the week between January 5 and January 12, Mumbai's positivity rate was 26.95 per cent, Bengaluru's 12.29 per cent, Thane's 31.54 per cent, Chennai's 23.32 per cent, Pune's 23.4 per cent, and Kolkata's positivity rate was 60.29 per cent. Delhi's positivity rate was around 23 per cent.
(With inputs from AFP)