NEW DELHI: India has so far not reported any case of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed Parliament on Tuesday, underlining that the government has taken measures to ensure that it does not reach the country.
The Centre has issued an advisory after looking at developments globally and is keeping a close watch on ports, he said, adding genome sequencing of suspected cases is being done.
During Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said, “Omicron variant has been found in 14 countries now. It is being studied here although it has not been reported in India.”
Stressing that there is a need to take all precautions, the minister said, “We have learnt a lot during the pandemic. We have resources and labs to check. At present, no Omicron variant has been reported in India and all measures have been taken to ensure this variant does not reach the country, he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’ According to the Minister, the COVID-19 situation is under control in India at present but the country is not free from this disease and Covid-appropriate behaviour should be followed.
The house-door vaccination drive is still on and about 70-80 lakh doses are being administered on a daily basis, he said, adding 124 crore doses of Covid vaccine has been administered so far in the country.
Responding to another query, the Union Minister said there was slow down in testing of tuberculosis during the Covid lockdown period but surveillance and testing has been stepped up now.