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Omicron Variant May Be Less Lethal in India, Epidemiologist Says

  • Indians likely to have high antibody levels after second wave
  • India hasn’t detected omicron but it’s a ‘matter of time’
A Covid-19 vaccination center at a school in New Delhi, on Nov. 24. 

A Covid-19 vaccination center at a school in New Delhi, on Nov. 24. 

Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg

The newly-emerged omicron variant is likely to be less lethal in India than the delta-led virus wave that overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums earlier this year, according to a prominent epidemiologist.

Given the widespread exposure of Indians to Covid-19 virus and a reasonably-high vaccination rate, India will likely be less affected by the new strain, Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday. That may change if omicron is effective at getting past all immune defenses, he said.