Guwahati: Assam government on its toes as the scientific experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that a new coronavirus variant named omicron, discovered in southern Africa, was a “variant of concern,” the most serious category the agency uses for such tracking.
The WHO said the new version carries a number of genetic mutations that may allow it to spread quickly, perhaps even among the vaccinated.
Sarma addressing the media on Saturday said, “So far no cases of the new variant is detected in the country but the union health ministry is working on checking it. We will respond as per the situation and the guidelines of the Centre. But it’s time to up our guards.”
The chief minister said that since the studies have showed that vaccines may likely to protect against omicron, the need of the hour was to complete the vaccination of all eligible persons in the state speedily.
Researchers said that vaccines may protect against omicron, but added that further studies were being conducted to determine how much of the shots’ effectiveness may be reduced if attacked with the virus.
Sarma informed, “Assam is only 3 lakh doses away from competing 100% target in terms of first dose. Already 2.10 crore first dose of the vaccines have been administered. Similarly, 1, 15, 59, 443 eligible persons have received the second doses which is around 50 % of the total.” In a bid to accelerate the vaccination process, a mega certification drive would be held across the state from November 29-December 5.