Odisha Crosses 3rd COVID Wave Peak With Figures Less Than 2nd Wave! New Variant Creeping ‘Stealth’ily

Bhubaneswar: After a day’s gap, the daily COVID-19 caseload in Odisha again dropped below 6,000 on Thursday with 5901 people testing positive for the virus in the last 24 hours.

Wednesday had seen a spike with 7426 people testing positive for COVID-19, a rise of 1535 cases as compared to Tuesday’s figures when 5,891 people were found infected. The state saw 7,291 cases on Monday, 8,520 cases on Sunday, 8,845 cases on Saturday, and 9,833 cases on Friday.

Responding to this downward trend in cases, Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra said that Odisha seems to have crossed the third wave peak. “Around 5000-7000 new cases are now being detected on daily basis, but we still cannot afford to lower our guard,” he said.

Notably, the state witnessed the peak period between January 13 and 19 with a daily caseload of 10,000-11,000. The highest figure during the second wave was 12,390.

The Public Health Director is right when he stresses the need to practice caution with a new variant of Omicron spreading on at least four continents. More than 40 countries have reported Stealth, a sub-lineage known as BA.2 of the dominant and highly transmissible Omicron variant, with the most in Denmark, followed by India, Britain, Sweden and Singapore, the Indian Express reported quoting experts.

The UK Health Service Agency marked the ‘stealth Omicron’ as a ‘variant under investigation’ on January 21.

WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove, however, has warned against theories that the virus will continue to mutate into milder strains that make people less sick than earlier variants.

“The next variant of concern will be more fit, and what we mean by that is it will be more transmissible because it will have to overtake what is currently circulating,” she said.


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