HomeCOVID-19Omicron three times more transmissible than Delta: Centre

Omicron three times more transmissible than Delta: Centre

The Centre asked state governments and union territory administrations to strengthen surveillance on Tuesday, claiming that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is three times more transmissible than Delta.

“As a result, even greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making, and stringent and fast containment action are necessary at the local as well as district levels,” wrote Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to state and union territory health departments.

The variant, which has caused shutdowns and has become the dominant strain responsible for an outbreak of infections across Europe and other nations, has now affected more than 200 people in less than three weeks, creating anxiety among government officials.

The majority of the Omicron cases have been discovered in Delhi and Maharashtra, with the western state reporting 11 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 65. So far, 54 Omicron cases have been reported in Delhi.

If the rate of new infections reached 10% or greater in a week, or if 40% of oxygen or ICU beds were occupied, Bhushan ordered states and union territories to apply limits.

“States/UTs (union territories) can implement containment measures and limits even before these thresholds are achieved,” Bhushan said, citing Omicron’s increased transmissibility.

“Activate the War Rooms/EOCs (Emergency Operation Centers) and continue to analyse all patterns and surges, no matter how minor, and continue to take aggressive action at the district/local level,” he added.

India, which has vaccinated at least 88 percent of its eligible population against Covid-19, is now asking individuals to receive a second shot and take preventive steps to stop the spread of coronavirus disease as the Omicron form resurfaces as a threat.