Amid a steep surge in COVID-19 cases and its Omicron variant, the Centre on Monday emphasised home isolation to deal with it and advised people to rely on only authentic sources of information and avoid creating a panic situation as the infection caused by the Omicron variant is mild.
Addressing a virtual meeting, Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Aggarwal said, “One must only trust the authentic source of information, not any information that might create panic. We should become more responsible collectively. The Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of COVID-19 infection is 70 times more transmissible in nature; however, it is a milder infection that requires home isolation at large and lesser hospitalization."
The Joint Secretary went on to say that the central government stresses home isolation for dealing with the Omicron variant and has reduced its time from 10 days to seven days.
Aggarwal said, "Even the infection is mild. We do not know how it will affect our comorbidity. We have to strengthen the home isolation guidelines. It was 10 days of isolation earlier but now it is seven days. There is very less requirement of hospitalisation."
Union health ministry's National Telemedicine Service or eSanjeevani service is available in this regard, he said.
While speaking on genome sequencing, Agrawal asserted that there are larger sets of mutations happening at the spike protein level in the Omicron variant, and the country has created a network of 38 labs for genome sequencing.
He stressed on COVID-19 vaccination and called it the most important tool.
At present, India has reported 4,033 Omicron cases, out of which, more than 1,000 have recovered.