Govt warns Omicron variant is not the common cold

New Delhi: NITI Aayog Member of Health Dr VK Paul has warned that Omicron variant of Coronavirus is not the common cold and it should not be taken lightly just because it is causing mild infections.

He told mediapersons that this variant has led to the collapse of the health system of some countries. Dr Paul said, Covid-19 pandemic has again become intense, this time powered by the Omicron variant ‘which is rapidly replacing or has already replaced’ Delta as the dominant form.

He stressed that vaccination is an important pillar in the Covid response programme. Dr Paul said, people need to be vigilant, get vaccinated and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.

Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Luv Agarwal said that the number of districts reporting over five per cent weekly Covid case positivity has increased from 78 in the week ending on January 4 to 300 in the week ending on January 11.

He said that 19 states have over 10,000 active Covid cases. Dr Agarwal said, Mumbai, Pune and Thane in Maharashtra, Bengaluru Urban in Karnataka, Kolkata in West Bengal and Chennai in Tamil Nadu are emerging as districts of concern.