Omicron intensity lower if both jabs taken: K’taka Health Minister

Bengaluru: Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar on Monday said that those who were infected with Omicron variant of coronavirus in the state have no health issues or symptoms.

“Omicron intensity is lower if two doses of vaccine are taken,” he told reporters here.

Only two cases of Omicron variant were found in Karnataka. The genomics sequence report of those in contact with the infected has not arrived yet, he added.

New infections have been discovered in other states. The primary and secondary contacts of the infected do not have any symptoms either.

About the condition of the patients, he said that the infected persons are being treated at the Bowring Hospital where he is in constant touch with the hospital director. Those who are coming in contact with the Omicron infected have received both the vaccine doses.

According to him, severity of Omicron infection is less among those who have received both their jabs. “The low symptoms of the infected makes it evident. Single dose of vaccine will not provide complete immunity. It develops only when both doses are taken,” he said.

The minister urged everyone eligible to mandatorily take vaccines at the earliest.

“In the case of Omicron, there is no big explanation and not much to worry about. We have encountered a Delta mutant that was more worrisome than this,” he said.

Severity of the Omicron variant of Covid has not been seen anywhere in the world. Countries with a high incidence of Omicron infections, including Botswana and South Africa, have not witnessed any severe cases either. The symptoms of this virus are mild. Thus, there is no need to worry, Sudhakar said.

However, he noted that precaution is essential as it spreads very quickly. Vaccination is necessary to stop the spread. Percentage of first dose of vaccine in Karnataka is over 93 per cent and that of the second dose is 64 per cent, he added.

Karnataka ranks third in the country in vaccination coverage. The vaccine programme is scheduled to be completed by the end of December. “We still have about 70 lakh vaccine stock. Everyone should voluntarily get vaccinated,” he said.

About international flights, he said that the Central government is yet to make a decision.

He further stated that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is also studying cases in different countries. With a comprehensive report, the Central government will decide the future course of action, he said.

History of any pandemic shows that the second wave is always huge. The third wave is less impactful, and there is some historical evidence for this, he opined.

The Delta variant had no effect on children. Omicron intensity is low compared to Delta. Scientists and experts are saying that even if children are infected, it will have very little impact on their health, he said.