New Delhi: Amid the continuous rise in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant, a health expert says it is important that we get tested to break the chain of transmission as avoiding the test and just assuming the presence or absence of COVID infection will lead to carelessness.
"If you just presume that you are COVID positive without any test, you would not take isolation measures as strictly as you would have taken, if you had the confirmed report. Therefore, it is important that you get yourself tested and then go through strict isolation measures so that we can break the transmission chain," said Dr Arvind Kumar, senior surgeon, Medanta hospital.
Raising concerns around the common misconception among the public regarding the virus, Dr Kumar said, "Don't consider this virus as common cold because hospitalization has risen."
"Three things have come to light after analyzing data gathered in last three weeks. First, active COVID-19 cases have seen a steep rise by many folds. Second, the rate of hospitalizations has increased but not at the same rate as witnessed in the rise of cases and last one being, the death toll has also gone up several folds," said Dr Kumar.
"In the midst of an increase in Omicron cases, people are getting a serious disease. Patients are getting admitted in ICU, they are requiring oxygen support and there have been some cases of death also," he added.
However, he also said that this wave is not as dangerous as the Delta wave.
The number of ICU admissions, oxygen requirement and death is not as frantic and as psychologically daunting as it was in the second wave last year. However, as more Omicron variant cases are being reported from every country, we can say that Omicron has replaced delta," he said.
Stressing on the need to follow precautions in the fight against coronavirus and especially the new Omicron variant of the virus, he said, "Vaccines are less effective against Omicron. It is important to take precautions because if the number of cases increases then the situation will become worst for hospitals."
"Up until now, data clearly shows that Omicron is more infectious than delta, but analysis shows that it is comparatively milder than delta in terms of causing serious disease. The vaccine unresponsiveness or vaccine failure is also higher with Omicron," said Dr Kumar.
"If anybody has an impression that it is like common flu, then we need to convince them otherwise, we are going to face serious problems because if a massive number of people get infections at the same time, we might be facing a situation like last year. It is best avoided," he added.
Meanwhile, India reported 2,47,417 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday.
Today's fresh COVID-19 cases are about 27 per cent higher than compared to yesterday's figures. On Wednesday, the country logged 1,94,720 new COVID-19 cases.
Out of the fresh infections of COVID-19 logged in the last 24 hours in the country, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was found in 5,488 cases.
With the administration of over 76,32,024 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage stands at 1,54,61,39,465, said the bulletin on Thursday.