NEW DELHI: National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) chairperson Dr NK Arora has reassured that there is no need to panic over the Covid-19 situation in the country but need to keep a close watch on the surge in coronavirus infections in foreign countries to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Dr Arora also confirmed that authorities in India have stepped up genomic surveillance and started airport screening.
The NTAGI chief informed that the testing of the sewage samples has not identified any new variant of Covid-19 while also adding that it means that the possibility of an upsurge of the cases is very less.
“The sewage sampling is being done and there also we are not getting any indication that either a new variant is here or there is a possibility of the upsurge of cases in the coming days or weeks,” the top health expert said.
Dr Arora said that India has maintained to be in a “reasonably comfortable position” during the last 12 months. “Our genomic surveillance system has identified almost 300 plus sub-variants of Omicron and they are spread all over the place. From time to time a certain sub-lineage becomes dominant. But the important point is that throughout the years we did not have any massive increase or surge in hospitalizations or deaths,” he said.
“Another important point is that the Omicron variants we are seeing in India are very much the same which are seen in any other parts of the world. And the second point is that they are not able to gain a foothold, or cause hospitalisation or severe disease,” the top health official added.
Dr Arora said that the country need not panic about the overall COVID situation, however, he suggested keeping a close watch. “I would say the overall situation is something which we need not get panicky about. But the important point is that we have to keep a very close watch, in view of an upsurge in some of the other countries, European North American and East Asian countries,” he said.
On Monday Union Health Ministry also said that “Sentinel sequencing of 324 COVID Positive Samples reveals the presence of all Omicron Variants in Community.
No mortality or rise in transmission was reported in areas where these variants were detected”.