COVID Third Wave Latest Update: Amid increasing concern over the new Omicron variant, India’s top genome sequencing expert on Friday made an alarming claim saying the mutant strain has all the potential to create a third wave of COVID-19 in the country.Also Read - COVID Positive Man In Kolkata Donates Body For Medical Research On Infection

Giving details to news portals, Anurag Agrawal, Director at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, said the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has all the features of the type of variant that would create a 3rd wave. However, he added that the variant has a very powerful immune escape from all the data that are being seen today. Also Read - International Flights: Singapore Airlines Begins Flight Operations From India Through VTL: Check Full Schedule Here

Agarwal further added that the people with the best immunity are the people with a hybrid immunity which is the largest faction of the population. Also Read - Delhi Metro Services To Resume As Per Regular Weekend Schedule On All Lines From Today

Calling for a booster shot for the healthcare workers, Agrawal said a small fraction of the population has never been vaccinated, and the Centre must get them vaccinated as soon as possible.

Earlier in the day, the Central government, however, said that given the fast pace of vaccination and high exposure to delta variant, the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low.

In a statement, the Health Ministry added that the Omicron cases are increasingly being reported from countries outside of South Africa and given its characteristics, it is likely to spread to more countries including India. “However, the scale and magnitude of rise in cases and most importantly the severity of disease that will be caused is still not clear. Further, given the fast pace of vaccination in India and high exposure to delta variant as evidenced by high seropositivity, the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low,” the ministry added.

The Omicron variant has been detected at a time when only 84% have received at least one dose, with more than 125 million people due for a second by the end of November.

On Thursday, India reported two cases of omicron variant of coronavirus in Karnataka. The primary, secondary contacts of both Omicron cases have been traced and are being tested.

First detected in southern Africa weeks ago, Omicron variant has now spread to over 30 countries.

The new variant is likely to spread internationally and poses a high risk of infection surges that could have “severe consequences” in some places, the World Health Organization (WHO) had said earlier.

Talking about the infection rate among children, Agarwal said kids have always been at risk for infection and the data showed that children have got infected at almost same rate as adults.