New Delhi: In a big sigh of relief to thousands of parents, microbiologist Dr. Saumitra Das said that Omicron, the new variant of coronavirus, may not infect children in other countries, the way it is affecting kids in South Africa. The previous waves of coronavirus had majorly hit the adults, but South African health officials had raised concern asserting that the new strain of Covid-19 is increasing hospitalizations among children under five years of age.Also Read - NeoCov: Wuhan Scientists Warn of New Coronavirus Strain With High Death, Infection Rate

However, Das said that Indian exposures to infectious diseases are different from those in foreign countries. Speaking exclusively to News 18, the microbiologist said, “It would be speculative to predict if Omicron would impact Indians the way it’s impacting in South Africa or in other countries. We need to understand that the immune system of individuals, their eating habits, the strength of the body in terms of previous exposure to infections apart from host genomics, plays an important role in determining the working of any virus.” Also Read - Chandigarh Schools, Colleges to Reopen from This Date, Vaccination Must | Details Here

He also asked people to remain vigilant and not pay heed to the ‘unnecessary panic’. “If people are following Covid-appropriate behaviour and have taken two doses of vaccines, there is no need to cause panic but the need is to be on alert.” Also Read - Vaccination, Infection May Lower Long COVID Symptoms: Study

Meanwhile, with 17 fresh cases, India’s tally of Omicron cases rose to 21—9 cases were detected in Rajasthan, 8 in Maharashtra, 1 each in Gujarat and Delhi, 2 in Karnataka. Most of those who tested positive either recently arrived from African countries or were in contact with such people. With this, four states and the national capital have now reported cases of the potentially more contagious variant which has sparked a fresh alert across the world.