Omicron Cases In India, Covid Vaccines Can Be Tweaked For New Variants

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New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said 161 Omicron cases had been detected in India and the government had arranged a buffer stock of important medicines to overcome shortage of essential drugs.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Mansukh Mandaviya said the country’s vaccine manufacturing capacity would be increased to 45 crore doses per month in the next two months.

READ | Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Urges Center To Allow Booster Doses As Omicron Cases Rise

“As of now, India has 161 Omicron cases…We’re monitoring the situation daily with experts. With our experience during the 1st and 2nd waves, to ensure that we don’t face problems when variant spreads, we’ve arranged a buffer stock of important medicines,” Mandaviya said.

Omicron cases have been detected in 11 states and union territories. Maharashtra has registered the highest Omicron cases, followed by Delhi.

All You Need To Know About Omicron Today:

, In the Rajya Sabha, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said buffer stocks of medicine and oxygen had been prepared to mitigate any crisis and 48,000 ventilators have been distributed to states.

, The Health Minister said 88 per cent of the eligible population had been given the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and 58 per cent second dose. He said the Center was in constant touch with states and experts on the matter to understand the Omicron variant.

, AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria said COVID-19 vaccines can be “tweaked” to provide protection against new variants of the virus. “Although there is this new variant of COVID-19, the silver lining is that it does seem to be a milder disease and we should have protection as far as the vaccine is concerned,” PTI quoted Dr Randeep Guleria as saying.

, Speaking at an event in Maharashtra, Dr Guleria said Omicron appears to escape humoral immunity. “As per preliminary reports from South Africa, there is a high risk of infection in individuals previously infected with a different strain,” he said.

, Addressing a press conference, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Center to allow the administration of booster shots. Delhi has reported 24 cases of the Omicron variant.

, Arvind Kejriwal also said that all samples that test positive for Covid-19 would be sent for genome sequencing in Delhi.

, The Delhi CM also said the government had made adequate arrangements for hospital beds, oxygen and medicines. “30,000 Covid beds are ready in Delhi. 6,800 additional ICU beds will also be ready very soon,” Kejriwal said.

, Five more cases of Omicron variant were found in Karnataka taking the total to 19. The cases were reported in Dharwad, Bhadravathi in Shivamogga district, Udupi and Mangaluru.

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