The central government on Friday said that Omicron variant of the covid-19 may outpace Delta as the total cases in the country surged to 101.
“Omicron variant has been 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,” said Lav Agrawal, the joint secretary of Union health ministry during a press briefing on Covid-19 situation in the country.
“It is likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs,” Agrawal said, citing the World Health Organisation.
“As per WHO,Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. It also appears to spread more quickly than Delta where the incidence of Delta is high, such as in the United Kingdom.”
Of the 101 cases related to the new variant, he said, 32 cases have been reported in Maharashtra, 22 in Delhi, 17 in Rajasthan, 8 each in Karnataka and Telangana, 5 each in Gujarat and Kerala, one each in Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal respectively.
Underlining the need to remain vigilant, Mr Agrawal urged people to avoid non-essential travel and stay away from large crowds and gatherings. He said new daily cases of Covid-19 have been recorded below 10,000 for the past 20 days.
The government has already asked states to step up surveillance measures and focus on sequencing positive samples in an effort to identify cases and potential hotspots.