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Omicron has twice the number of bad spike mutations than Delta

NEW DELHI: The health ministry has said that the new Omicron variant is possibly 500 per cent more competitively infectious and has more than 2 times the number of bad spike mutations than the Delta variant.

Addressing a routine press conference on Covid-19 on Thursday, Joint Secretary (MoHFW) Lav Agarwal said that there is a surge in cases globally with Europe contributing to 70 per cent of the cases.

"Europe is witnessing a massive rise in cases. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is talking about public health measures. Laxity in public health measures is why there are more cases in Europe. While Germany has more than 75,000 cases, UK has over 47,000 cases. France has reported more than 50,470 cases," Agarwal said.

He added, "In comparison to this, Southeast Asian region that includes India and 11 other countries, reported only 1.2 Lakh cases in the last one week - only 3.1 per cent of the cases of the world. A decrease in cases is being reported in the Southeast Asian region."

The health joint secretary further said that the low vaccination coverage is leading to high death rates and a rise in cases.

So far, 373 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in 29 nations, Agarwal said, adding that 2 such confirmed cases have been found in Karnataka and contact tracing is being done.

"All Omicron related cases are found to have mild symptoms so far...In all such cases in the country and across the world so far, no severe symptom has been noted. WHO has said that its emerging evidence is being studied. There are more than 45-52 mutations and 26-32 changes in the spike. The RT-PCR test can be used as an early detection of this mutation. Cell attachment affinity is greater than other variants," he said.

 

 

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