The strains of Omicron circulating in Delhi are more infectious than the base strain that surfaced in January this year and along with it, the effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing infections has dropped 20 to 30 per cent, Dr NK Arora, who is part of the Centre's Covid Task Force, told NDTV today. Delhi currently is seeing a spike in Covid, where the positivity rate is hovering around 18 per cent.
"18 per cent positivity rate looks frightening but the parameter to look at currently is the hospital admission rates and associated mortality not only for Delhi but the country," Mr Arora told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
The current strains doing the rounds in Delhi -- like the sub-lineages of Omicron B5 and B2 are 20 to 30 per cent more infectious than the base Omicron variant, he said.
Asked if the disease has become endemic to India, Dr Arora said over the last six months, there has been no sub-lineage that's particularly virulent, in other words causes severe disease.
"If this is the situation for the next two or three months, then as a public health person I'll be more comfortable and I can kind of say let's open up to normalcy," he said.