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India

Updated on: Thursday, December 16, 2021, 05:44 PM IST

Will Omicron affect India the way Delta did? Here's what top virologist Dr Shahid Jameel said

Medical staff prepare an isolation ward for Covid-19 coronavirus patients at a government hospital in Chennai on December 16, 2021, as at least one case of Omicron coronavirus variant was reported in Tamil Nadu.  | (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP)

Medical staff prepare an isolation ward for Covid-19 coronavirus patients at a government hospital in Chennai on December 16, 2021, as at least one case of Omicron coronavirus variant was reported in Tamil Nadu. | (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP)

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The Omicron variant of COVID-19 will not affect India as badly as the Delta variant did early this year, said top virologist Dr Shahid Jameel. However, he added that the country cannot be complacent and must be careful and alert.

"India in December 2021 is very different from India in March 2021," Dr Jameel, a visiting scientist at Ashoka University, told news agency IANS.

"Both in terms of numbers of, you know, the vaccination percentage as well as exposure to the virus. India has had a very, very bad second wave. And because of that, the blessing in disguise is that many of us got exposed to the virus,” he said.

Dr Jameel said that whether the new COVID variant will affect the elderly and those with weak immune systems remains to be seen.

"It's too early for that. So I think much more will develop in this story. But if you compare it to when Delta emerged in India, the situation is different. When Delta emerged, fewer people were vaccinated in India."

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Published on: Thursday, December 16, 2021, 05:44 PM IST
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