As the debate rises in India over a new Coronavirus strain being called 'Delmicron', leading health experts on Saturday advised people not to pay heed to rumours and wait for the global health agencies like the World Health Organisation (WHO) or US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to confirm or deny the presence of such Covid variant.
Several news reports talking about 'Delmicron' surfaced this week in India, quoting Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of Maharashtra's C-19 task force, who said: "Delmicron, the twin spikes of Delta and Omicron, in Europe and US, has led to a mini-tsunami of cases."
There is no such Covid variant as of now, and there is no information either on another mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus after Omicron, which is spreading wildly worldwide.
Neither the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) nor the Indian national Covid-19 task force have spoken about the presence of so-called 'Delmicron'.
Harshal R Salve, Associate Professor at the Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi, told IANS that no such variant exists.
"There is no new Covid virus variant called 'Delmicron' yet," Salve said.
"Omicron is also no new virus as it's a mutated Coronavirus. As per evidence available so far, its infectivity is on the higher side but the symptoms are milder in nature. So there is no need to panic about it," he added.
India has reported a total of 415 Omicron cases, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. At least 115 have recovered. Maharashtra has the highest number of Omicron infection with 108, followed by Delhi with 79. Gujarat has 43 cases and Telangana 38.
According to Dr Neha Gupta, Infectious Diseases Specialist at Medanta-The Medicity in Gurgaon, Delta is still the predominant Covid strain in India while Omicron is now spreading.
"As of now, studies have shown that the Omicron variant has a short incubation period of just 3 days as compared to Delta variant where it could be 2-28 days. This implies that the third wave would be of shorter duration and, perhaps, reach a higher peak if Covid-appropriate measures are not followed," she told IANS.
As for the so-called Delmicron variant, "there is no need to have unnecessary fear", she added.