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New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are being routinely identified and evaluated. For example, a new variant named AY.4.2 was detected in a few Indian samples in early November. The clinical manifestation of the former is similar to previous variants; however, its secondary infection rate is higher. Another variant called B.1.1529 (Omicron) with several mutations was first identified in South Africa and has been found in more than 25 countries, including a few cases in India as of 1st week of December 2021. This variant may have increased transmissibility and immune evasion properties and its rapid spread across the world has caused concern.
In addition to new variants, several European countries have also detected a surge in caseloads and some have enforced lockdowns. In India however, there has been a general easing of restrictions of economic and social activities as caseloads are showing a reducing trend. However, in view of the new variants, we propose a framework of permitting economic and social activities based on the extent of vaccination coverage and case load in an administrative unit (state/district) to quickly respond to any surge in cases and prevent further lockdowns.
TACKLING NEW COVID-19 VARIANTS V 1.0