No case of Omicron in India so far, taking all possible precautions: Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya
Amid growing concerns over new Covid-19 variant Omicron in India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday (November 30) said in Rajya Sabha that no cases of Omicron has been recorded in the country so far.
In a big relief, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya has said no case of Covid-19 variant Omicron has been reported in India. On the raising concern of the newly detected Covid-19 variant, which is believed to be more contagious than any other variant in the past, Mandaviya addressing in the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday assured that the government is taking all possible precautions including screening of international passengers at airports and doing genome sequencing.
“This new variant has been found in 14 countries. There is no case of Omicron in India yet. We are taking all possible precautions and doing genome sequencing as well”, the Health Minister said.
A PTI report last Thursday stated that the Centre has asked all states and union territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana, where a new Covid-19 variant of serious public health implications has been reported.
Amidst the Omicron variant scare, India recorded 6,990 new cases and 190 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). India has recorded the lowest number of coronavirus cases in 551 days.
A week ago, the World Health Organization had classified the latest variant -- B.1.1.529 of SARS-CoV-2 virus -- as Omicron, a ‘Variant of Concern’ (VOC), which hints it could be more contagious, more virulent or more skilled at evading public health measures, vaccines and therapeutics.
According to WHO, Omicron has more than 30 mutations which makes it highly transmissible, and more data is awaited to identify its effect on the vaccine efficacy. While many countries have put up travel restrictions and bans on flights from several African countries, India has mandated special measures for travellers including quarantine and RT-PCR tests.