GUWAHATI: Assam has seen a significant jump in the number of COVID-19 positive cases since the beginning of the new year. Seeing the fast rate at which the infection is spreading, health authorities have presumed it to be the Omicron variant as not all COVID-19 samples are sent for genome sequencing to detect the Omicron variant.
Compared to the Delta variant in the second wave of the pandemic, the hospitalization rate is low so far as the Omicron variant seems to be less severe. However, a cause of concern is the fact that most COVID-19 patients who have succumbed to the virus since January 1, 2022, are elderly people with comorbidities. During the devastating second wave of the pandemic, young adults were at risk. But in the ongoing third wave, elderly people seem to be at risk.
Talking to The Sentinel, State COVID-19 Death Audit Board chairman and Director of Medical Education (DME) Dr Anup Kumar Barman said, "Since January 1, most of the COVID fatalities are elderly people with comorbidities like cancer, kidney ailment, heart disease and diabetes. Hence, elderly people should remain careful."
He further said, "The COVID-19 death rate in the State is not very high as yet. However, as cases keep increasing, it is likely that the death rate may also increase."
From January 1 to January 16, Assam has recorded 25,970 positive cases and 42 deaths.