Junior doctors protested to demand that staff numbers be beefed up, warning of a disastrous situation if the new variant overwhelmed health care facilities, although nearly half of India’s 944 million adults have been fully vaccinated.
“Given the fast pace of vaccination in India and high exposure to Delta variant … the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low,” the ministry said in a statement. “However, scientific evidence is still evolving.”
Both of India’s first two Omicron patients, reported on Thursday, showed mild symptoms, the ministry added.
But concern over the prospect of a third wave of infections has grown after the variant was found in the southern state of Karnataka, in one person with no recent travel history.