With the Omicron variant cases in Odisha having crossed the 50-mark today to touch 61, the big fact to the fore is recovery rate post-infection by the super-spreader variant in the State has been around 11 percent.
In contrast, the recovery rate has been highest in the country in Tamil Nadu, where the rate is quite high at 87 percent, though MP with only 9 cases as of date has a 100 percent recovery rate. Since the cases in MP are very low, TN with over 100 cases fits the bill for comparative analysis.
Odisha Vs Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu detected its first Omicron case on December 16, 2021. Between Dec 16-Jan 4, 2022, the State, though, had recorded a total of 121 cases of the new variant of concern, the recovered ones stood at 105. As a consequence, the Omicron recovery rate in the State is estimated at 87 percent.
On the contrary, Odisha recorded its first Omicron case on December 21, 2021, but on Jan 4, 2022, the number of recovered patients stood at a mere 4. On Jan 5, the Omicron tally shoots up further to touch 61, with detection of 24 new cases.
An analysis reveals that when in the first 15 days from detection of the first Omicron case, the recovery rate in Tamil Nadu was 72 percent; in Odisha, the recovery rate (Dec 21-Jan4) had been a mere 11 percent during the first 15-day period.
This shows the Omicron recovery in Odisha is very slow because even the national average during the first 15-days post detection of the first case was around 31 percent.
Odisha Omicron Cases An Understatement?
Even as the Omicron sequencing rate at present in the State is around 11 percent, there is something more than that meets the eye.
Sample this: In Tamil Nadu, when the sequenced Omicron detections among international travellers had been 57 as of Jan 4, 2022, the SGTF (S-gene Target Failure) among them were nearly 4-times more at 220.
TN is not an exception. Even in the UK, when sequenced Omicron cases stood at over 2.46 lakh; the SGTF cases were nearly 3-times more at over 6 lakh.
In India, TN is the only state to use the WHO mandated RTPCR (TaqPath method) tests on international travellers. But UK deploys TaqPath method for all its citizens.
As per WHO, in order to prevent Omicron surge, countries or states may go for RTPCR-TaqPath to identify SGTF and isolate such SGTF positives and trace their high and low-risk contacts at the earliest. Omicron is different from other variants because of S-gene deletion.
Going by the SGTF trend from Tamil Nadu to UK, the Omicron cases in Odisha will be more than 4-5 times vis-a-vis the sequenced cases.
Omicron In Community?
As per the sequenced data, nearly 49 percent of the positives found with the new variant of concern in Odisha neither have any international travel history nor are they contacts of positive foreign travellers.
On the contrary, the Omicron cases in Tamil Nadu not linked to international returnees account for around 53 percent.
The above data clearly hints at community transmission of Omicron in Tamil Nadu, and as well as in Odisha.
Who is Omicron Positive?
Though as of date, an acute respiratory syndrome in Omicron cases has been observed in only one-third of total cases in South Africa and UK, the new variant did show off some conspicuous symptoms different from Delta and Wuhan virus. Note the following symptoms as outlined by UK health science company ZOE along with King's College London.
- Headache, mild to severe weakness and runny nose are the main symptoms observed in three in every five Omicron positives in UK.
- The symptoms of sore throat and sneezing have only a 50 percent chance, which means nearly half of the new variant of concern positives didn't exhibit these two symptoms.
Besides, as per the latest US-based CDC alert, some Omicron patients in the US exhibit a colour change of skin and nails (epithelial cells). The colour changes to light blue indicating a dip in oxygen concentration in blood.