Updated on: Friday, December 24, 2021, 08:41 AM IST

Omicron threat in Maharashtra: Need booster doses for persons with comorbidities, says COVID-19 task force member


With Omicron spreading as fast as anticipated, state Covid-19 Task Force member Dr Shashank Joshi has pitched for a combined strategy of citizen participation with regulatory compliance to counter the threat.

He told The Free Press Journal, “At present, only responsible behaviour, double masking and vaccination seem to be the answers to Omicron, which threatens to displace the Delta strain. Omicron is airborne and will force us to refocus on air ventilation, apart from Covid-appropriate behaviour.”

He added that vaccination will still hold the key as new variants emerge. Dr Joshi said the present Indian genomic surveillance reveals Delta derivatives with a lot of diversity but clinical and mortality outcomes are driven essentially by age, comorbidities and immunocompromised states.

“Mortality in India is driven by an unvaccinated population or comorbidities or delayed seeking of medical care and the aim is towards zero Covid mortality,” he said.

Dr Joshi argued that there is clearly a need for booster doses for people with comorbidities, the elderly and those working in the heathcare and frontline areas. He said there is a need to generate India-specific data on mix and match and additional doses.

He asserted that pandemic preparedness plans both by the Centre and states are in place, with lessons learned from the second wave.

“The unique lesson from the Dharavi model as well as the decentralised approach of the Mumbai model are innovations in public health,” he added.

Maha crosses 130M dose-mark

Maharashtra on Thursday crossed the 130 million Covid vaccine doses mark. The state, till 9 pm on Thursday, had administered 13,00,75,106 doses. The state had achieved the 100 million mark on November 9, 110 million mark on November 25, and 120 million mark on December 7.

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Published on: Friday, December 24, 2021, 08:41 AM IST