December 23, 2021 4:18:06 am
All but one of the 34 patients with the Omicron variant treated at Delhi government’s Lok Nayak hospital were fully vaccinated, with at least two persons having received a booster shot, top officials have told The Indian Express.
“So far, we have treated 34 persons with the new Omicron variant, 18 of whom have already been discharged. Except for one person, all others were vaccinated against Covid-19, meaning that the new variant is capable of infecting even those who have received their shots,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak, which was the first hospital to be designated as the treatment centre for those suspected to be infected with the new variant.
He said that at least two international travellers had even received an mRNA booster shot.
All those confirmed to have Omicron had mild symptoms such as fever, sore throat and body ache. None of them was required to be put on oxygen or ventilator, he said.
“The good thing about the variant is that we have only seen mild symptoms in the patients so far. However, it could also be because of vaccination. If the infection starts spreading in the community, the fear is that those who remain unvaccinated might get severe symptoms,” said Dr Kumar.
He cautioned that with three of the persons admitted with Omicron not having any travel history, the new variant may have already started to spread in the community.
Five of the 34 patients admitted to the hospital with confirmed Omicron infection were citizens of European and African countries, while the remaining 29 were Indian citizens. At present, with 57 patients, Delhi has the highest number of confirmed Omicron cases in the country, followed by Maharashtra.
Three of the 34 Omicron patients at LNJP had no history of foreign travel, suggesting that the new variant is in the community. The encouraging observation is that like elsewhere, these patients have shown mild symptoms — though this could be due to vaccination.
The other patients in Delhi have been admitted to private hospitals such as Sir Ganga Ram, Max (Saket), Fortis (Vasant Kunj), and Batra hospital (Tughlakabad), which have also been designated as treatment centres for the new variant.
Fearing a surge driven by the new variant, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday said that no event or gathering to celebrate Christmas and New Year will be allowed in the city.
This comes a day after the Centre directed states to impose strict restrictions in districts reporting high positivity rates, stating that the Omicron variant is at least three times more transmissible than the highly transmissible Delta variant that drove the second wave of infections in the country.
The national capital recorded 125 Covid cases on Wednesday, at a positivity rate of 0.2%.
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