March 21, 2023

mandaviya: Of 161 Omicron cases, 80% are asymptomatic, says minister | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Of a total of 161 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 detected in the country so far, 13% were mild, whereas 80% were asymptomatic and 44 have recovered so far, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in the Rajya Sabha in his reply to a discussion on emergence of the fast spreading strain.
Mandaviya said the government is keeping a close watch on the situation and the virus has also been cultured in labs domestically to test the efficacy of the existing vaccines, results of which may be out in a week’s time. He assured that there was an adequate capacity in terms of labs to test and track the variant.

Buffer stocks of medicine and oxygen have been prepared to mitigate any crisis and 48,000 ventilators have been distributed to states, the minister said. “We are monitoring the situation daily with experts. With our experience during the first and second waves, to ensure that we do not face problems when the variant spreads, we have arranged a buffer stock of important medicines.” There have been increased demands for booster doses in the wake of Omicron’s emergence and though it has been relatively mild, it can, as with other Covid strains, be severe in the case of the elderly and those with health complications.
The government also underlined the country’s vaccine manufacturing capacity will be increased to 45 crore doses per month in the next two months from 31 crore doses a month at present. Two more companies have submitted their vaccine data seeking emergency use authorisation, Mandaviya added.
Highlighting efforts to ramp up vaccination coverage, Mandaviya said majority of the adult population is now covered under the programme with 88% receiving at least their first dose, whereas 58% of adults covered with both doses of jabs. “Today, every state has adequate stock of vaccine with 17 crore doses available with states,” he said.

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