Why most Indians may be protected from Omicron

News Network
November 30, 2021

ShahidJameel.jpg

A “very large” number of Indians are likely to remain protected from Omicron or any other variant of Covid-19 and there is no need to panic, eminent virologist Dr Shahid Jameel has said.

Jameel, who is the former head of the advisory group to the Indian SARS-COV-2 Genomics Consortia (INASACOG), said people must be cautious and keep wearing masks.

"While we should be cautious, there is no need to panic. India's second wave due to the Delta variant was huge, infecting more people than we imagined. This is reflected in the fourth National Sero-survey that showed 67 per cent of Indians to have Covid antibodies. That is about 930-940 million people at a time when the vaccination levels were very low, and so it came mainly from infection," he said in an interview.

"More recently, Delhi showed 97 per cent with antibodies, Mumbai around 85-90 per cent and so on. All this means that a very large fraction of Indians will be protected from severe disease caused by Omicron or any other variant," Jameel said.

A new variant of Covid-19, feared to have a high amount of spike mutations, has been detected in South Africa. On November 26, the WHO had designated B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern and named it Omicron.

Speaking on the effectiveness of vaccines against the new variant, Jameel said more data is awaited but vaccine effectiveness against the variant may dip by a few points. However, vaccines will not become useless, he said.

"We don't have this data available yet. It may take another one to two weeks for the first laboratory results to become available. My hunch is that vaccine effectiveness against this variant may dip a few points, but vaccines will not become useless. They will continue to protect from severe disease," he said.

On how India can prepare to tackle the new variant, he said people should not panic, and continue to wear mask while the government should increase the rate of vaccination.

"We are fortunate to have sufficient vaccines and the ability to vaccinate. Along this line, it may help to reduce the duration between two doses of Covishield from 16 weeks to 12 weeks. This will get more people vaccinated quickly, especially those in vulnerable age groups (elderly), those with comorbidities and those in high risk occupations (health care)," he said.

On what role a booster dose of vaccine can play against the new variant to tackle waning immunity against Covid-19, he said booster shots help, but it is more important to first get more people vaccinated with two doses.

"Further, about 90 per cent of doses in India are Covishield, and this has limited use as a booster. For that we will need either RNA, DNA or protein vaccines. For the moment, just make sure more and more people get the two doses," he said.

Responding to reports claiming that the variant mainly affects people below 25 years of age, he said there is no data available on the subject.

"So far, the few known patients are in this age group. I doubt it will pose a bigger threat to children who naturally have no or mild disease to this virus," Jameel said.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
July 1,2022

jodi.jpg

New Delhi, July 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone on Friday and discussed the state of global energy and food markets, Modi's office said in a statement, as India keeps buying Russian crude oil.

"They exchanged ideas on how bilateral trade in agricultural goods, fertilisers and pharma products could be encouraged further," the statement said. 

"The leaders also discussed global issues, including the state of the international energy and food markets."

The statement said Modi urged Putin to go for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the Ukraine crisis. 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
July 3,2022

Hassan, July 3: An elderly man was killed by an elephant while two farmers suffered grievous injuries in tiger attack in two separate incidents on Saturday in old Mysuru region.

A farmer sustained serious injuries in head and face caused by the tiger claws at a farm at Lakkipur on the fringes of Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Gundlupet taluk of Chamarajanagar taluk.

A stray tiger attacked Gaviyappa when he tried to rescue a cow from its clutches. After he raised an alarm, farmers working in nearby fields rushed to the spot and managed to chase away the tiger.

The big cat, however, ran into a banana plantation nearby. During an operation by Forest personnel to catch the tiger, a few onlookers provoked the feline by throwing stones. It attacked Rajashekar, also a farmer, with its claws and injured him. Rajashekar has sustained serious wounds in his knees.

In another incident, a stray elephant trampled a 67-year-old man to death at Kelagalale village in Sakleshpur taluk, Hassan district, on Saturday. Krishnegowda is the deceased.

The elephant attacked him, when he was heading towards his estate along with his son Sudeesh and grandson Pratham. Sudeesh and Pratham, however, survived the attack.

The angered villagers staged a flash protest, by blocking Bengaluru-Mangaluru National Highway for 30 minutes. The villagers demanded the state government and the Forest department to take necessary measures to check the man-animal conflict.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
June 23,2022

Hassan, June 23: An earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale shook parts of Hassan district and neighbouring regions in south Indian state of Karnataka in the wee hours of Thursday, a disaster management official said.

The earthquake was also felt in many villages near Somwarpet in Kodagu district. People ran out of their houses following the tremor.

According to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner, Manoj Rajan, the epicentre was Maluganahalli village under Nagaranahalli village panchayat in Holenarasipura Taluk of Hassan district.

He said as per the seismic intensity map of the said earthquake from the epicentre, the intensity observed is moderate and the tremor may be felt up to a maximum radial distance of 40-50 kms from the epicentre.

“This type of earthquake does not create any harm to the local community, although there might be slight shaking observed locally. As the epicentre falls in Seismic Zone-II, the chances of occurrence of earthquakes is very less and the possibility of damage is low.

"As the region is void of any structural discontinuities as per the tectonic map, the community need not panic as the intensity observed is moderate and not destructive,” the commissioner explained.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.