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‘If India sees UK-like Covid spike, there will be 14 lakh cases daily’ : Dr VK Paul

In India, as many as 113 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected so far in 11 states and union territories. Twenty six of these cases were reported on Friday.

Till Friday, Maharashtra has reported 40 Omicron cases, of which the highest (14) are in Mumbai.

Amid the spike in the number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases across the world, in the wake of the emergence of the new variant Omicron, Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul has expressed concern. At a press conference on Friday, Dr Paul highlighted the worrying spread of the infections in Europe and compared it to the population of India.

“If we look at the scale of spread in the UK and if there is a similar outbreak in India, then given our population, there will be 14 lakh cases every day,” Dr Paul said.

He added that Omicron is believed to be behind the spread but this is still an “emerging and unexpected scenario” and the government is keeping an eye on all the developments.

“It is being said that the Omicron strain causes mild infection,” Dr Paul added.

The Niti Aayog member also said that genome sequencing of every sample is not possible.

“Genome sequencing of every sample is not possible. It is a surveillance and pandemic assessment and tracking tool, not a diagnostic tool as of now. We can assure sufficient systematic sampling is being undertaken,” said Dr Paul.

On Friday, Britain reported 3,201 cases of the new variant, the biggest daily increase since Omicron was detected in the country, taking the total such cases to 14,909, according to official figures.

The data from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) also said that the country recorded 93,045 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, breaking the daily record for the third consecutive day and bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 11,190,354.

In India, as many as 113 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected so far in 11 states and union territories. Twenty six of these cases were reported on Friday.

Maharashtra leads the tally with 40 cases, followed by Delhi with 22, Rajasthan with 17, Telangana and Karnataka with eight each, Gujarat and Kerala with seven each, and Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Chandigarh with one each.

Joint Secretary of Health Ministry Lav Agarwal, who was addressed the press conference, said that Omicron variant has been found in 91 countries in the world.

The Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new variant as ‘Omicron’. The global health body also classified the heavily mutated strain as a ‘variant of concern’.

‘If India sees UK-like Covid spike, there will be 14 lakh cases daily’ : Dr VK Paul

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