No scientific data to suggest Covid pills will be useful now: ICMR

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New Delhi, 18 Dec 2021: The scientific data on anti-viral Covid pills still does not support that these medicines will be useful at the moment as it has been found that they need to be given earlier even before the diagnosis of the disease, Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava said on Friday.


In a briefing on the present situation of Covid and new variant Omicron in the country, he said that it is very important to have low-intensity festivities and avoid non-essential travel and mass gatherings.


Joint Secretary, Health, Luv Agrawal, said that new Covid cases are being reported below 10,000 for the past 20 days. The case positivity for the last 1 week was 0.65 per cent. Currently, Kerala contributes 40.31 per cent to the total number of active cases in the country, he said.


India is administering Covid-19 vaccine doses at the highest rate in the world and the daily rate of doses administered is 4.8 times the rate of doses administered in the US and 12.5 times the rate of doses administered in the UK, he said.


On new Covid variant, he said that a total of 101 Omicron cases across 11 states have been reported so far.


"There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines are not effective against Omicron variant," he said, adding that it is likely that Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs as per a WHO report.


NITI Aayog’s Member, Health, Dr V.K. Paul said: "A new phase of the Covid-19 pandemic is being experienced in Europe with a steep rise in cases."


About genome sequencing, he said that sequencing of every sample is not possible.


"It is a surveillance and pandemic assessment and tracking tool, not a diagnostic tool as of now."



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