Omicron: For all those who have been assuming that Covid-19 pandemic has become endemic and there won’t be any more waves, here is bad news for them. The Telanagna director for public health Dr G Srinivasa Rao has warned that Telangana was likely to see a surge in cases after January 15, 2022 and there was a probability of third wave striking at people in the state!
As per Telangana health authorities, Covid-19 cases are likely to increase in the state from January 15 onwards which raises concerns about the start of the third wave of the pandemic. Srinivasa Rao stated that Telangana has tripled its oxygen generating capacity and maintained 27 oxygen containers on reserve in anticipation of an increase in Covid-19 infections caused by the new variant, omicron.
Further, Srinivasa Rao stated by December 31, Telangana will attempt to achieve a 100n per cent vaccination rate for the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and achieve 70 per cent for the second dose. “Covid infections in South Africa due to Omicron variant started gradually and then grew two times faster than Delta variant within days. In another day or two, in terms of transmissibility, Omicron became four times faster than Delta variant. Now, it has spread 16 times faster in South Africa. If the same exponential growth continues, we may witness a rise in Covid infections here probably somewhere near to January 15,” Srinivasa Rao said.
Unlike the first and second waves, this time around, the health machinery and even the general public are far better prepared and informed about Covid-19. While State governments had imposed lockdowns and implemented other severe restrictions during the previous two Covid waves, this time around, there could not be any such severe restrictions or lockdowns, he pointed out.
Dr Srinivasa Rao acknowledged that it should not come as surprise for anybody, if an Omicron variant is reported in Telangana. “At present, Omicron variant is reported in over 30 countries and there are already five such cases in India. We should not be surprised if cases are reported in Telangana,” he said.
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The head of public health made it clear that it would take at least one more week to fully understand the severity, transmissibility and hospitalisation rate of Omicron variant. People must continue to take Covid appropriate behaviour like use of masks, physical distancing and getting vaccinated at the earliest. “At present, these are our best options,” Srinivasa Rao added.