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Health ministry joint secretary advises Omicron patients to go in for home isolation, rely on only authentic sources of information

New Delhi [India]: As India witnesses a steep surge in COVID-19 cases and its Omicron variant, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Aggarwal emphasised home isolation to deal with it and advised people to rely on only authentic sources of information and avoid creating a panic situation as the infection caused by Omicron variant is mild.

Addressing a virtual meeting today, Aggarwal said, "One must only trust the authentic source of information, not any information that might create panic. We should become more responsible collectively." "Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of COVID-19 infection is 70 times more transmissible in nature; however, it is a milder infection that requires home isolation at large and lesser hospitalisation," he said.

The Joint Secretary further informed that the Government of India stresses home isolation for dealing with the Omicron variant and they have reduced its time from 10 days to seven days.

Aggarwal said, "Even the infection is mild. We do not know how it will affect our comorbidity. We have to strengthen the home isolation guidelines. It was 10 days of isolation earlier but now it's seven days. There is very less requirement of hospitalisation."

Union health ministry's National Telemedicine Service or eSanjeevani service is available in this regard, he said.

While speaking on genome sequencing, Agrawal asserted that there are larger sets of mutations happening at the spike protein level in the Omicron variant, and the country has created a network of 38 labs for genome sequencing.

He further put emphasis on COVID-19 vaccination and called it the most important tool.

At present, India has reported 4,033 Omicron cases, out of which, more than 1,000 have recovered.

Meanwhile, the country also logged 1,79,723 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the daily positivity rate in the country to 13.29 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday. (ANI)

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