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Suryakant Jena

Around 60% of COVID infections reported in Odisha these days are related to the new Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the Director of Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar, Ajay Parida said.

During a press briefing on Saturday, Parida said while the Delta variant swept the State and country last year during the second wave, the Omicron variant of the virus gradually took over this time around.

Parida said during January 2021, Delta variant constituted 12 percent of the infections before it gradually became the dominant strain during the second wave of the pandemic, to such an extent that around 98 percent of cases detected in October last year were found with Delta infection. 

The Delta variant of Coronavirus swept the entire State and the country, wreaking havoc with hospitalisations and deaths. “However, slowly, the Omicron is now overtaking the dangerous strain which has been clearly suggested in around 2.48 lakh genome sequencing reports,” he said.

As of now, the new variant (Omicron) constitutes 60 percent of all cases in Odisha, while in Delhi, it has nearly wiped out the Delta and accounts for 98 percent of the total infections, explained the ILS director. 

Parida suggested people exhibiting symptoms of cold, cough and fever to get tested for COVID only after two days following the onset of the indicators because the virus takes few days to become fully active in human body.

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