Dr Paul said there is a rapidly rising trend in test positivity though the hospitalization rate is low, and urged people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, take the COVID-19 vaccine to slow down transmission.
New Delhi [India], January 12 (ANI): With India witnessing a steep rise in COVID-19 cases, Dr VK Paul, a Niti Aayog member, has cautioned that the infection caused by the Omicron variant of coronavirus should not be considered common cold and people should not take it lightly.
"Omicron is replacing Delta variant of COVID-19 as it is highly transmissible. It should be considered as the common cold. Normally, the transmission or expansion of the pandemic would take longer but this time it has been very rapid because of the high transmissibility," he said at the Health Ministry media briefing. Dr Paul also said there is a rapidly rising trend in test positivity.
"You can see that the test positivity rates are rapidly increasing, phenomenally with 25 per cent, 30 per cent and 60 per cent in cities and with 11 per cent nationally. It looks that hospitalizations rates may be low, but it's taking place at a large scale," he said.
He urged people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and take the COVID-19 vaccine to slow down transmission.
"It's the responsibility of society and an individual to slow down the transmission by following COVID-appropriate behaviour. Everyone must wear masks, follow social distancing and must get vaccinated because vaccines are providing protection against serious diseases. It's a matter of fact that it's helping to some extent, it's a critical pillar," he added.
India has reported 4,868 new cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Maharashtra reported 1,281 cases, Rajasthan reported 645 cases, Delhi reported 546 cases, Karnataka reported 479 cases, and Kerala reported 350 cases. (ANI)