Health officials have confirmed a number of infections from the Omicron variant in India, around a week after the World Health Organization designated it as a variant of concern (VOC). It is not the case that all the confirmed cases were travelers arriving from some nations. There is already confirmation that local transmission of the variant has taken place, and primary and secondary contacts of few of the travelers also tested positive for the variant. At the same time, the extent of the transmission is still evolving. So far no case has been confirmed in J&K or Ladakh. There is no room for complexity either, considering what has been seen in South Africa, where the variant seems to be spreading rapidly.
It is also true that there is little known about how significant a threat Omicron poses besides being readily transmissible. It is not known if this variant leads to more severe, or milder, illness and it will take weeks before one of the most crucial questions is answered: How does it affect people who have had a past infection, vaccine shots, or both?
United States health officials said that while the omicron variant is rapidly spreading, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations globally.
President Joe Biden’s chief medial adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci has said that scientists need more information before drawing conclusion’s about omicron’s severity.
It is also true that undue alarm will only serve to create a distraction at a time when the focus needs to be on scientific evidence but there is need for covid-19 appropriate behavior as been rightly asked to be adhered to by the officials given the fact that WHO has said that measures that work again delta variant work against omicron also. There is need for caution by one and all. Those not wearing a mask, and by freely intermingling with others, multiply the chances of the spread of the disease, omicron or delta or any other variant which may be present but not known as yet. In other words, such people are putting the lives of others to peril, beginning with own family.
Also, the concerned agencies need to swiftly put all the measures in place. In case there is an upsurge there ought to be measures in place to manage it as quickly, and at as minimum costs of health and life, as is possible.