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Serious illness seen in only one out of 578 Omicron patients: Maharashtra Health Department

Maharashtra has detected the largest number of Omicron infections till now. On Tuesday, 75 more people were confirmed to be infected with this variant, taking the total number in the state to 653.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: January 5, 2022 7:18:41 am
Kolkata alone has contributed half of the daily new cases with 4,759 people testing positive in the city in the last 24 hours. (File)

Only one of the 578 people confirmed to have been infected by the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Maharashtra till Monday had severe illness, while eight had developed moderate symptoms, the state Health Department said on Tuesday.

It said that 436 of the 578 Omicron-infected people showed no symptoms at all, while 133 had mild symptoms.

Maharashtra has detected the largest number of Omicron infections till now. On Tuesday, 75 more people were confirmed to be infected with this variant, taking the total number in the state to 653. The state government analysis strengthens the evidence that Omicron variant is producing only mild diseases.

However, the increased ability to bypass the immune response means that Omicron makes little distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. As many as 365 of the 578 people, over 63 per cent, were vaccinated. At least 154 were unvaccinated, while the status of 59 was not immediately available.

Among the unvaccinated were also people below 18 years of age. At least 20 of these 578 were below the age of 10, while another 32 were between 10 and 20 years of age, according to information provided by the Health Department.

Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said while most of the patients were reporting only mild symptoms, there will always be people who can develop complications because of their age or prior medical conditions. As such, the spread of Omicron variant must not be taken lightly.

The protocols and guidelines for Covid-appropriate behaviour remain the same and must be followed diligently, he said.

“Additionally, field surveillance of all international passengers who have arrived since November 1 is underway. Through airport and field surveillance, 2,397 samples have been sent for genomic sequencing and results of 99 are awaited so far,” he said.

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