A warning has been issued by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) about the third wave of COVID-19 disease hitting the country, the IMA said, if necessary, precautions are not taken amid the rise of Omicron cases. So far 23 people across the country have been infected by the new variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
The IMA claimed at a press conference on Monday that with the scientific data available and the experience noted in countries of origin of the virus, it is evident that the Omicron variant will have high permeability and will affect more people than before.
“At a time when India is limping back to normalcy, this is a great setback. If we do not take adequate measures, we may have a massive third wave,” it said.
The doctors’ body also demanded that the government accelerate the proposal of vaccinating individuals aged 12 to 18 years.
“At this juncture, IMA also appeals to the government to officially announce additional dose (of vaccine) be given to healthcare, frontline workers and immunocompromised individuals to augment the immunity,” the IMA officials said.
The new Omicron strain was first reported in southern African countries late last month, and categorised as ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization (WHO).
— Indian Medical Association (@IMAIndiaOrg) December 6, 2021
The rapidly-spreading variant is said to be more resilient to vaccines.
Since being detected in Botswana, Omicron has spread to two dozen countries. In India, 23 cases of the new strain have been detected, and the highest number is in Maharashtra.
The Indian government has implemented strict measures for international travellers, especially those arriving from countries identified as ‘at risk’ by the Centre. These travellers have to mandatorily carry a negative RT-PCR test result (not older than 72 hours) and upload the travel details of the last 14 days on government’s Suvidha portal.