As the third wave of the Covid pandemic is wreaking havoc in India, a Harvard expert has issued a dire warning regarding the Omicron variant which is apparently dominant in the nation. Harvard immunologist Dr Shiv Pillai suggested that the Covid pandemic cannot be completely eradicated from the world. However, he made it clear that vaccines and drugs may change many things in a few years down the lane.
The second version of the Omicron variant in India
It was around a few months back that the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa. The original version of the Omicron variant is dubbed BA.1. But the variant that is currently dominant in India is BA.2, and more details of this slightly different variant are still unknown to the scientific community.
"In India, there is a variant of Omicron BA.2 that's also spreading, it is different from Omicron. In fact, Omicron BA.1 is the original, but it's slightly different," said Pillai, Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences and Technology, director, Harvard Immunology Graduate Programme at the Harvard Medical School, ANI reports.
Will BA.2 affect the lungs badly?
According to experts, the original version of the Omicron variant is slightly less lethal when compared to the Delta and Alpha variants of the Covid pandemic. Medical experts had previously revealed that the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, but it will not affect the lungs as badly as the Delta variant.
Pillai suggested that the second version of Omicron which is currently in India may not be that mild when compared to its original version initially detected in South Africa.
"Immunity from BA.1 first Omicron might give us some immunity against the second one BA.2. But will that second one be as mild? Not proven yet. We'll see the data will probably come from South Africa and India first. Because in India, BA.2 has taken over it is the most common version in India right now. It's rising the second version of Omicron," added Pillai.