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India must prepare for Omicron surge; no need to panic, says WHO's Soumya Swaminathan

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India must prepare for Omicron surge; no need to panic, says WHO's Soumya Swaminathan

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Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Chief Scientist of WHO, Soumya Swaminathan said that India could see surge in Omicron cases. "We need to be prepared, but not panic," she added.

Large cities in India are seeing a rise in COVID-19 infections possibly fuelled by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The total confirmed COVID infections in the last 24 hours has risen to more than 13,000. Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru are seeing a spike in infections but most cases appear to be mild and each of these cities have more than 10,000 hospital beds vacant at the moment. Delhi's health minister has said omicron could account for 46 percent of the cases in the state.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18 the chief scientist with the WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said, “What we can expect to see in India is surge of Omicron cases, I think it is just beginning now in some of the cities and is going to infect a lot of people.”
She added, “We need to be cautious. We need to be prepared, but not panic.”
There are a few scientists who believe omicron is the variant that could take COVID-19 from a pandemic to an endemic but there is no conclusive proof just yet. For now, everyone must take precautions and keep children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised safe.
For full interview, watch accompanying video...
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