2 additional confirmed cases of Omicron mutation in India… Growing concerns about the spread

“All came from Africa”… Authorities encourage vaccination

“It is less severe than delta because of the high rate of antibody formation”

Travelers arriving at Mumbai International Airport, India

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(New Delhi = Yonhap News) Correspondent Kim Young-hyun = In India, where the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) swept greatly earlier this year, two new cases of Omicron, a new mutation of Corona 19, were added, raising concerns about the spread of the mutation.

According to Indian media such as NDTV on the 5th, an additional case of Omicron mutation was detected in Mumbai and Gujarat, in western Maharashtra, India the day before.

The 33-year-old confirmed patient in Mumbai visited South Africa last month, the main spread of the Omicron mutation, and the confirmed case in Gujarat is 72 years old, living in Zimbabwe and entering the country at the end of last month. Both are Indian.

Earlier, in India, on the 2nd, the first two cases of omicron mutation were detected in the southern province of Karnataka, one Indian and one South African.

Authorities believe that the recent slowdown in the spread of COVID-19 may be rekindled due to the influx of Omicron, so they are encouraging vaccination and strengthening quarantine.

The Ministry of Health has recently taken an emergency response, such as introducing real-time gene amplification (RT-PCR) testing and 7-day self-isolation measures for travelers from 12 countries, including South Africa, right after entering the country.

The Omicron mutation is known to have much higher transmission power than the delta mutation that hit India this year, and it has been confirmed in about 39 countries, including the US, Hong Kong, the UK, and Germany, mainly in South Africa.

Authorities, however, do not expect the omicron mutation to hit India as seriously as the delta mutation.

The Ministry of Health said on the 3rd, “Considering the rate of vaccination in India and the high rate of antibody formation among residents due to severe exposure to delta mutations, the severity of the omicron mutation is likely to be less.”

Corona 19 test conducted in New Delhi, India
Corona 19 test conducted in New Delhi, India

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So far, about 1.27 billion vaccines have been administered in India.

Of these, the number of people who have completed the second vaccination is about 470 million. It is 34% of the population of 1.38 billion, which is still low compared to Italy and Canada, where the vaccination completion rate is over 70%. However, recently, with the encouragement of the authorities, the number of vaccinations is accelerating to 7 to 10 million a day.

The antibody formation rate is also very high, exceeding 90% in a serum survey of New Delhi residents at the end of September.

Some experts say that if the antibody formation rate in the community is this high, it is possible that herd immunity has been formed.

Herd immunity refers to a state in which a large number of local residents have immunity to a specific infectious disease. Once herd immunity is established, rapid spread is not easy even if additional infections occur.

In early May, India suffered from a terrible epidemic, with the number of daily new cases surpassed 410,000, but recently this number has fallen below 10,000.

The number of new deaths reported at a rate of more than 4,000 per day has recently fallen below 500.


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