Omicron in India: The biggest challenge for India today remains the faster spread of Omicron variant.
As per the WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan, the crisis will be the sudden need for medical care. “The surge is going to be very fast and many people are going to be sick.”
The warning comes as the world sees another fresh surge of the new variant Omicron. This new variant outbreak has triggered fresh concerns globally.
“People are worried. You may not have symptoms but you would want to talk to a doctor, you’d want to see a healthcare worker, and you’d want advice. That’s what we will have to prepare for,” she added.
The Chief Scientist Dr Swaminathan calls for an urgent ramping up of teleconsultation services to tackle the Omicron-fuelled surge.
“Maybe, this is the time to really scale up the telehealth and telemedicine services to make sure we have enough doctors and nurses in out-patients’ clinics; make sure we can treat people at home as much as possible or at primary care isolation centres where they get basic care if they don’t need advance care,” she said.
WHO Chief Swaminathan on Omicron surge
She also cautioned over people becoming complacent gradually. As per the data from South Africa and the UK, the number of cases they experienced with the Omicron compared to Delta was four times more. This proves its transmissibility.
What has also been observed is that the risk of becoming very severely ill, needing critical care and ventilation or dying, remains much less with Omicron as compared to the other variants.
Yet there is a risk of severe infections and deaths but that should not mean that the doctors, hospitals, out-patients departments, health care workers, and the infrastructure would not be overwhelmed.
The government’s responsibility comes into the picture now. As there will be heightened need for beds, hospitals and other medicines. This is the time when world governments should buck for any calamity.
Complete vaccination, masks and following social distancing are the only big tools that we have at our disposal.
So far, India has reported over 1,200 cases of the Omicron variant with Delhi and Mumbai leading the surge.
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