Dr Randeep Guleria, head of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), has said that more than 30 changes have been found in the spike protein region of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which can help it to develop the ability to evade the immune system and therefore, there is a need to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines against it seriously.
The presence of the spike protein facilitates the entry of the virus into the host cell and is responsible for allowing it to spread and cause infection. AIIMS Director Dr Guleria told PTI that the new variant of the coronavirus reportedly has more than 30 mutations in the spike protein region. Hence, it is likely to develop the ability to evade the immune system.
Most vaccines work by creating antibodies against the spike protein, so so many mutations in the spike protein region can reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. In such a situation, he said that there is a need to critically evaluate the effectiveness of other vaccines, including those used in India. He said the future course of action would depend on what emerges in more detail on its spread, intensity, and ability to evade immunity.
Officials said the Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomic consortia are closely monitoring the novel variant B.126.96.36.1999 of the coronavirus, and its presence in the country is yet to be ascertained. Dr Guleria stressed the need to be very vigilant and have aggressive surveillance both for international travellers and in the region where there has been a sudden increase in cases.
At the same time, we should sincerely ask everyone to follow the COVID appropriate behaviour and not reduce our safety, he added. At the same time, it has to be ensured that people get both doses of the vaccine. Those who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to come forward to take it. The new, potentially more infectious form was first reported from South Africa to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 24 November. Since then, cases have been reported in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel, among other countries.
Eight days quarantine is mandatory for travellers from six countries in Tamil Nadu
Amidst reports of two people coming from South Africa to Karnataka being found Corona positive, the Tamil Nadu government has made eight-day quarantine mandatory for people from 6 countries.
Health Minister M. Subramaniam told reporters here on Sunday that because of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the state government has decided that people coming from South Africa, China, Botswana, Hong Kong, Brazil, and Italy should stay in quarantine for eight days. Will happen. He said that restrictions had been imposed at Chennai International Airport, and people coming from these countries will be screened here. He said that if anyone shows symptoms of Corona, they will be isolated.
Can dodge the vaccine?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new and dangerous strain of Corona (Omicron variant) found in South Africa as a ‘Variant of Concern.’ To prevent its infection, many countries have suspended flights coming from South Africa. In India, too, the central government has issued instructions alerting the states. To what extent is Omicron dangerous? AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria says that more than 30 mutations have happened in the spike protein of this variant of Corona. It can also dodge the vaccine.
Union Home Secretary meeting
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the situation of coronavirus infection in the country, an emergency meeting was held on Sunday under the chairmanship of Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on the concerns arising due to the new form of Corona ‘Omicron,’ and its Remedial measures were discussed. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson, in the meeting, a comprehensive review of the situation across the country was conducted in the wake of the Omicron variant.
It was decided in the meeting that the situation of the corona epidemic in the entire country would be closely monitored, and necessary steps would be taken accordingly. It was also decided that keeping in mind the global situation, the scheduled program for starting commercial flights would also be reviewed, and based on that, a decision would be taken to start the flights.