Third wave: 'Omicron less severe, but still dangerous'

Doctors advise caution as most of the cases asymptomatic

Third wave: 'Omicron less severe, but still dangerous'

A health worker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a woman at the Civil Hospital in Jalandhar. Tribune Photo:Malkiat Singh

Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, January 14

District health experts have admitted that Omicron is a mild variant compared to the ones reported in the previous years. Of the 12 Omicron cases reported in Jalandhar, barring one, all were asymptomatic. The only symptomatic case was that of a London returnee, who was also discharged from isolation after coming out negative.

Across Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts, there are many cases which are coming out to be Covid positive after random sampling. Doctors are asking patients to exercise caution and strictly abide by Covid protocol especially with a peak predicted in January end. There are mixed responses among experts on the prevalence of symptoms among those tested positive.

Civil Surgeon Dr Ranjit Ghotra said, “There are no doubts about the fact that Omicron is a much milder variant as far as symptoms among patients are concerned. Omicron is much more infectious but much less virulent or severe. With this, much positivity rate in any previous waves we would have a much busier emergency. But with Omicron, majority of the cases being reported are asymptomatic. Hence, we are exercising caution and adherence to strict Covid protocol. Strict abiding by Covid mandates, masking up, and social distancing go a long way in prevention of Covid and vaccinations as well.”

Another senior doctor said, “The extent of Covid-19 symptoms might be milder but we are still getting many cases. One of the problems is also that people are reporting to doctors days or at times weeks after symptoms. The number of cases with mild fever or cough is much more than people are formally admitting. So, the caution needs to be exercised.”

Cardiologist Dr Vijay Mahajan, said, “It is a mixed bag of cases we are getting. About 40 to 50 per cent are symptomatic while the rest are all asymptomatic. However, the Omicron variant is affecting lungs much lesser than the previous viruses. Its extent is limited to the upper respiratory tract in majority of the cases. We will get even better results if people exercise caution and responsibly abide by all the Covid mandates.”

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