Omicron cases in India will mostly be asymptomatic, says expert. Here's why

By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh
Dec 11, 2021 04:38 PM IST

Omicron or not, a fresh wave of the pandemic is possible in India if people do not adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour and it will have little to do with the new variant if people do not wear the masks. 

With reports of new cases surfacing, the overall number of Omicron cases in India has now reached 33. According to experts, the spread of the new variant is less concerning than that of Delta as the symptoms are mild. While this is partly because of the nature of this new variant, another reason might be the high rate of seropositivity of Indians, experts have said.

Ahmedabad's Civil Hospital has opened a special Omicron ward. (PTI)
Ahmedabad's Civil Hospital has opened a special Omicron ward. (PTI)

"India has the advantage of a very high rate of 'seropositivity' of 70, 80 per cent, and in big cities more than 90 per cent people already have antibodies," Rakesh Mishra, former Director of CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here, told PTI. Even if people get infected by Omicron, it will be very mild and mostly asymptomatic, Mishra said.

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India's Omicron tally rises to 33: Tracing Covid-19's new variant in various states

A fresh wave of the pandemic may come even without Omicron, Mishra said referring to the fresh waves in Europe. Ruling out the possibility of a surge in hospitalisation, he said wearing the mask, maintaining social distancing and getting vaccinated remain the three major weapons against future waves.

New variants are bound to emerge and the general tendency is that newer variants should be milder and more infectious. However, it is possible that an unexpected bad variant may emerge, Mishra said.

All Omicron cases in India are mild and there has been no report of Omicron death in India and in any country of the world. The common symptoms are weakness, sore throat etc. Many Omicron patients of India have already recovered and tested negative for Covid.

Capital Delhi reported a new Omicron case on Saturday as a Zimbabwe-returnee tested positive. Reports said the patient only complained of weakness.

Which states have how many Omicron cases?

Maharashtra has 17 Omicron cases, which is the highest in the country, while the second is Rajasthan with nine cases. Gujarat has reported three confirmed Omicron cases. Karnataka and Delhi have two Omicron cases each.

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