Amid a daily increase in the active number of Coronavirus cases across the country, people are more concerned about the rising infections caused by the Omicron variant. However, there has been no significant rise in hospitalisation due to the Omicron variant. Those who are hospitalised do not require to get treated in ICU and their Oxygen level is not falling. However, Omicron infected patients and their family members are worried whether this variant is harming the lungs? Doctors believe that Omicron is not as harmful as other variants.
Dr Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Head of the Department of Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi, explains that there is a mutation in the spike protein of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. Because of this, the Omicron variant spreads rapidly but due to some reason, its virulence i.e. ability to cause damage has decreased.
“We are seeing patients with mild symptoms. The death rate of Omicron patients is much less compared to other variants. It shows that Omicron is not as harmful as other variants,” Dr Gupta said.
“We are seeing that patients of Omicron variants being treated in hospitals do not need ICU or oxygen cylinder. The problem of falling oxygen levels in these patients has not yet come to the fore. Oxygen level falls due to the virus reaching the lungs or affecting them. Hence, we can say that Omicron is not reaching the lungs or does not have the ability to affect them. Omicron is a milder variant of Coronavirus, it is more infectious but less harmful,” he added.
Dr Gupta said that data is suggesting that vaccination has a profound effect on Omicron. Covid-19 vaccines can be a reason behind this variant not affecting the lungs. Omicron is infecting the vaccinated people but is not able to harm them as the vaccine reduces its severity, according to Dr Gupta.
India reported 13,154 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours as on December 29. Omicron case tally stands at 961 with 263 cases in Delhi and 252 in Maharashtra.
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