Omicron: Avoid non-essential travel, mass gathering, says Union govt

India’s Health Ministry on Friday said 101 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus infection have been recorded across 11 states so far.

“If we look at the scale of spread in the UK and if there is a similar outbreak in India, then given our population, there will be 14 lakh cases every day. France is reporting 65,000 cases. If an outbreak of a similar scale takes place in India, then given our population it will mean 13 lakh cases every day,” Covid Task Force chief VK Paul said today.

“It is time to avoid non-essential travel, time to avoid mass gatherings, and time to observe low-intensity festivities and low-intensity New Year celebrations,” Paul said.

While noting that the situation is currently “stable” in India, Dr Paul stressed that “we need to adopt profound caution”.

“Omicron variant reported in 91 countries in the world. WHO has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. It’s likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, WHO added,” briefing the media, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agrawal said.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Friday said 10 new cases of the new coronavirus variant Omicron have been detected in the national capital, taking the tally to 20. Ten of these patients have been discharged, he said.

Maharashtra has so far recorded the most Omicron cases – 32. Rajasthan is next with 17, and Karnataka and Telangana have reported eight each.

Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh have also reported cases of the new variant.