50% of Omicron cases were doubled jabbed, vaccine not sufficient: Officials

A health worker displays a pair of COVID vaccine dose. [FPK File Photo]

New Delhi: 87 out of 183 persons, which is nearly 50%, who had detected the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Coronavirus were fully vaccinated, reports said on Saturday quoting data revealed by officials.

Quoting the officials from the Health Ministry of India, the report said that vaccine alone is not sufficient to contain this pandemic and that use of masks and surveillance is key to breaking the chain of transmission.

On Friday, the Health Secretary of India Rajesh Bhushan released an analysis of 183 Omicron cases detected in India. As many as 96 Omicron cases (of the total 183) whose vaccination status is known, 87 (nine of 10 or 91 per cent) were fully jabbed; three of whom had received booster shots too. Two were partially vaccinated and seven unvaccinated.

The vaccination status of 73 persons was not known and 16 were not eligible for vaccination. While the travel history of 18 Omicron cases is not known, an analysis of the remaining 165 shows that 121 or 73 per cent had a history of travel abroad.

Significantly, 27 per cent of these 165 cases, did not have a foreign travel history, indicating the presence of Omicron in the community.

The analysis, in terms of clinical symptoms, also shows that 70 per cent of patients are asymptomatic, said ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava.

“The infection with Omicron does not necessarily lead to severe symptomatic clinical disease. In India, about a third of all detected cases were mildly symptomatic, and the rest were asymptomatic. Therefore, I want to emphasize that treatment of Omicron in symptomatic individuals remains the same,” he said.

VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, and head of India’s COVID task force warned that the Omicron variant has a higher risk of transmission within the households as compared to Delta.

“That one person who brings the infection from outside, because he didn’t wear a mask outdoors, will infect others in the house. This risk is higher in Omicron. We should keep this in mind,” he said.


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