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COVID DATA January 20, 2022 INDIA: New Cases: 3,17,532 Total Cases: 3,82,18,773 New Deaths: 491 (including old unreported deaths) Total Deaths: 4,87,693 New Tests: 19,35,180 Total Tests: 70,93,56,830 New Vax: 73,38,592 Total Vax: 159,67,55,879 Hot Spot States (daily deaths above 10) Assam: New Deaths: 15 Total Deaths: 6,248 Bengal: New Deaths: 38 Total Deaths: 20,193 Bihar: New Deaths: 11 Total Deaths: 12,156 Delhi: New Deaths: 35 Total Deaths: 25,460 Gujarat: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 10,186 Haryana: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 10,136 Jharkhand: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 5,225 Karnataka: New Deaths: 21 Total Deaths: 38,486 Kerala: New Deaths: 49 Old Unreported Deaths: 85 TPR 37.17% Total Deaths: 51,160 Maharashtra: New Deaths: 49 Total Deaths: 1,41,934 Punjab: New Deaths: 29 Total Deaths: 16,846 Rajasthan: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 9,031 Tamil Nadu: New Deaths: 35 Total Deaths: 37,073 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Omicron covid - Panic reaction by nervous Govts: Travel curbs clamped!

There has not been any case of severe illness or death reported so far from anywhere in the world due to the new variant of covid named as Omicron. Then why are Governments around the world imposing travel bans and contemplating lockdowns? Why is this panic reaction? South Africa is furious that the global travel ban imposed on the country will cripple its economy. Omicron variant was first discovered in Pretoria in South Africa and it has spead in the country very fast within a week. The doctor who detected the case first time is Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association. What does she say?

NEW DELHI, Nov 29: The symptoms of covid variant Omicron are "very mild" although its transmissibility is higher than Delta's, Dr Angelique Coetzee, the doctor who first came across the new variant in South Africa, has said. Within a week of its detection it has now spread widely in South Africa and has reached a dozen other countries too.

Dr Coetzee told the BBC on Sunday that the patients seen so far have had “extremely mild symptoms.” She is the chair of the South African Medical Association.

The patients complained of symptoms other than those of Delta. Dr Coetzee said Delta caused elevated pulse rates, low oxygen levels and loss of smell and taste. But Omicron patients had just "scratchy" throat and the dry cough is very mild. A new symptom is extreme fatigue. She said, "We haven’t admitted anyone."

She discovered the first case on November 18 in Pretoria where she works. Laboratory studies identified it as a new variant on November 25. Panic reactions like travel bans followed worldwide.

Yet, clinically, so far it is seen like a mild infection, she said.

There has not been any case of severe illness or death reported so far from anywhere.

Depending on the individual, the viral load and the variant, mild to severe symptoms may appear in two to 14 days after exposure to any covid virus. The common symptoms of coronavirus are fever or chills, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or a runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhoea, skin or ophthalmic rashes etc.

According to the WHO, currently 99% of cases around the world are caused by the Delta variant. It is raging in Europe, US and some other countries. Delta's transmission is faster, probability of infection from exposure quite high because of the variant's efficiency due to structural transformations in the spike, the incubation period is short, the illness is very severe and the fatality rate is also very high.

Coming to Omicron, in a couple of weeks scientists will have studied the new variant vis-a-vis the diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. But why wait. Experts say go for a booster and that will take care.

Therefore, it will be sheer knee-jerk reactions to impose new restrictions and lockdowns right away.

In South Africa where it was detected first it has spread fast and has even reached countries like Canada, UK, Germany, Israel, Botswana, Belgium, Czech, Australia, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Scotland, Italy etc in the past few days.

Therefore, this much has been confirmed that Omicron is highly transmissible. What more has come to light is, so far it has shown only mild symptoms in the South African cases. No deaths, nor any hospitalisation.

Yet, to be on guard, what needs to be done now? Booster dose, apart from masking, social distancing, good ventilation and hand washing.

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