Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], December 2 (ANI): In the wake of the new variant of coronavirus, Omicron, the virologists in West Bengal's Siliguri have suggested increasing the speed of testing in the city as it receives a lot of international travellers and said that the administration should be serious about the issue.
Speaking to ANI, Head of Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL), North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH), Siliguri, Dr Santunu Hazra said, "As international travellers are very common in Siliguri and Darjeeling, the administration should be very serious about this issue. More and more samples have to be tested here and we have to speed up our testing."
Notably, Siliguri is known as the gateway of the northeast and is located close to four International borders-Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and China.
The expert said that the situation in the city is static at present with a daily positivity rate of 5 to 6 per cent.
"The situation is static till now. After the second wave, it started reducing but during the festive season, it rose a little, but since then has been static around 5 to 6 per cent of positivity rate," he said.
Talking about the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Dr Hazra said that it is less likely that Omicron will be as virulent as the Delta variant of the virus that was behind the second wave in India.
"As vaccination is going on throughout the world which is reducing the severity of the disease. So when people get infected with these new variants, people get less severe symptoms like a mild fever or mild cough. As the people are getting vaccinated, I do not think it will be that much severe like the Delta strain of the virus. But we still have to wait for a few more days to say if it is more severe or virulent or it can evade the efficacy of the vaccines," said Dr Hazra.
Speaking to ANI, Medical Superintendent and Vice Principle(MSVP), NBMCH, Dr Sanjay Mallick said that there would not be any problem if there is an increase in the number of hospitalization in the future as the hospital is "well equipped" with the hospital setup.
"The number of beds has not decreased, we have the same number of beds that we had earlier. We are well equipped with the hospital setup. I do not think there will be any problem if the hospitalization increases in the future," he added. (ANI)