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Actual Omicron Cases Could Be 60-90 Times As Reported: Top Expert To NDTV

Dr. Jaiprakash Muliyil said we are only detecting one in 60 to 90 actual Omicron cases.

New Delhi:

The government’s top medical expert on Covid has claimed that reported infection numbers are “nowhere close to the truth” as actual numbers could be up to 90 times more than reported for Omicron infections.

“After the Delta wave, the surge is Omicron all the way whether you do the testing or confirm it, here’s no need for confirmation,” said Dr. Jaiprakash Muliyil, epidemiologist and chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research. “The shape of the curve is all we need to worry about,” he said adding that we would know it has reached the end when the graph starts dipping.

On how experts will be able to gauge the true extent of Omicron without more tests and accurate numbers, he said that “we have learned to live with it” as even during the second wave caused by the Delta variant they “always multiplied the number of cases picked up by about 30 to get the real number” as subclinical numbers don’t get noticed by anyone, including the person who has been infected. For Omicron, he said we are only detecting one in 60 to 90 actual cases as subclinical cases have also significantly gone up.

On strict lockdowns, he said that we can’t stay locked in our houses for very long and that we must repeatedly emphasise that Omicron is much milder compared to the Delta variant.

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