omicron: Curve may go flat in 3 months in Omicron dominated areas if Covid protocols are followed: ICMR | India News

PUNE: The active Covid-19 curve could begin to flatten within three months in Omicron dominated areas if covid protocols are followed and if one acts appropriately, said additional director general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr Samiran Panda, as covid cases continue increasing exponentially in the country.
With covid cases rising exponentially in almost all states and the total Omicron tally reaching over 2700 with Maharashtra topping the count followed by Delhi, Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu, the scientist said that despite the sharp spike, the covid curve would flatten by following covid protocols, avoiding mass gatherings and people should avoid non-essential travel and use correct mask and states should scale up vaccination. “The projection that we have generated through modelling exercise shows that if Omicron is dominant it will sharply go upwards but will go downwards in three months time,” said the scientist.
He further cautions that some areas may have different variants spreading so one cannot ignore the recently observed upsurge by stating that Omicron is mild and does not follow covid protocol. “One has to ensure to avoid gatherings and use mask,’ he said.
He said that while major metropolitan areas have Omicron as a major variant, areas in the northeast it is more of a Delta so one is seeing more pressure on the health system, unlike Omicron-dominated states.
The ICMR scientist believes that the country does not have a homogenous representation of the epidemic. ” In the East and northeast Delta is dominant, Omicron is predominant in these states such as Maharashtra and Delhi followed by others and population density with neglect towards Covid appropriate behavior is driving the epidemic” he noted. He said that states have been directed to ready a state-specific action after critically analysing state specific data.
“We need to appreciate that the sheer high number of Omicron infected individuals will lead to a considerable number of people requiring institutional care although the estimated proportion of infected individuals requiring such care would look small. Caution is therefore warranted,” he said
With states being asked to look at the data closely, ICMR feels that each state and each district should look at its data and try to graphically represent them to figure out in which stage of the epidemic or wave of the epidemic they are in. “The country as a whole is not in one uniform stage and an examination of state disaggregated data can determine which stage each state is in and so we cannot consider the whole country to be in a particular wave,” he explained.
Data has shown that in some states Omicron is replacing Delta while in some other states it is Delta which is still predominant and this heterogeneous distribution one has to take note to project the impact of a recently observed upsurge in SARS-COV-2 infection in various states on the health system. As it is observed in the community where Omicron distribution is less than Delta, the impact would be more on the health system as clinical severity encountered in individuals infected with Delta variant is more compared to that in Omicron. However, the effect of Delta flattens if there is a good use of vaccination and it is a combination of multiple factors such as covid protocols, avoidance of mass gathering, and non-essential travel and vaccination coverage in a state that would determine the shape of the epidemic in a particular state stated the ICMR scientist.
On the DCGI approved Omicron detecting RT-PCR testing kits that were developed in partnership with Tata and ICMR, the scientist said that the kits were helping states to contain Omicron spread, as it helps states detect the cases easily within four hours helping to augment the genome sequencing efforts, adds the scientist.

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