UPDATE: Cases of the Omicron Variant and COVID in India

India has recorded 8,439 new cases in the last 24 hours, which is the lowest number of active cases in the past 555 days.

According to the MOHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), India has 8,439 new cases of COVID-19 and 195 deaths in the last 24 hours. Omicron, the new, and much-feared variant of SARS-CoV-2, has been termed a variant of concern by the World Health Organization.

The Omicron variant is technically known as the B.1.1.529 variant and was first reported from South Africa on 24th November 2021 by an expert from The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE). The TAG-VE periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses if specific mutations and combinations of mutations alter the behavior of the virus.

Cases of Omicron in India:

Five suspected cases of the Omicron COVID variant have been identified in Goa. These are five sailors, including Russian and Georgian nationals, and have tested positive for COVID with Omicron-like symptoms. Four of the sailors are quarantined in a government facility, whereas one is in isolation on the vessel anchored at port.

Two passengers were detected to be Omicron positive, who had landed at the Bangalore International Airport in November. All people who had come in contact with them have been traced and are being tested.

Is the Third Wave of COVID coming?

According to Prof. Manindra Agarwal, the IIT scientist heading the project predicting the trajectory of COVID-19, the third wave of coronavirus could hit the peak by February. The cases might reach up to 100-150k per day due to Omicron. However, it is expected to be milder than the second wave as Omicron isn't appearing to bypass the natural COVID-19 immunity in individuals in any significant way. This is quite opposite of the recent research in South Africa.

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