The Covid Omicron variant has already infected more than 213 people in India. The variant is at least three times more transmissible than Delta and has sounded the alarm bells. Mint explains whether the country’s infrastructure is ready to deal with an exponential increase in cases.
Is Omicron Likely To Spread Faster In India?
The Union Health Ministry said there were initial signs of an increase in covid-19 cases as well as increased detection of Omicron in different parts of the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously said that there is consistent evidence that the Omicron spreads much faster than the Delta variant – it has warned that social mixing during the holiday season could be dangerous. . It is likely that people who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from covid-19 could be infected or re-infected. India still has a large unvaccinated population, which could lead to faster spread in India.
Is India ready with the medical infrastructure?
The government is preparing for a third wave. As the management of covid-19 patients requires isolation facilities, the number of isolation beds has increased from 10,180 before the first lockdown to 18,03,266 as of August 3, 2021. Similarly, the number of intensive care beds increased from 2,168. pre-covid to 1,24,598. India has attempted to increase oxygen availability in all states. To date, 3,236 pressure swing adsorption plants have been installed with a total commissioned oxygen capacity of 3,783 MT. In addition, 1,14,000 oxygen concentrators are provided to states under various packages.
What do the country’s health statistics say?
It’s not a pretty picture. According to government data, India has 1.4 beds per 1,000 inhabitants, 1 doctor per 1,445 inhabitants and 1.7 nurses per 1,000 inhabitants. According to statistics on rural health infrastructure released by the Union Ministry of Health, there was a 6.8% deficit of allopathic doctors in primary health centers, in March 2020.
What measures have states announced?
States have started to monitor and increase testing for Omicron cases. In accordance with the instructions of the Union Ministry of Health, all travelers from countries considered “at risk” must undergo mandatory tests on arrival by RT-PCR, followed by quarantine at home for seven days. A new RT-PCR test is performed on the eighth day of arrival. Two percent of travelers from “safe” countries are tested at random. People who test positive undergo full genomic sequencing in some laboratories.
Is there a possibility of containment?
Chances are India will reimpose restrictions. The Center appears concerned about signs of an upsurge in infections. The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday called on states to impose a nighttime curfew coupled with strict regulations on large gatherings – Christmas and New Years are fast approaching and large social gatherings may well turn into a super spreader. The ministry urged states to restrict the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals; restrict the number in offices, industries and public transport.
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