A study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, said that Covishield was effective against moderate-to-severe COVID-19 during the surge of Delta variant. The study was meant to assess the world effectiveness of the Covishield vaccine during the deadly surge in the months of April and May. During the surge, the Indian health infrastructure was split open.

The Lancet said that the Covishield vaccine efficacy was 63% in fully vaccinated individuals. During the moderate to severe disease phase, the Covishield vaccine efficacy was found to be at 81%.

These findings come on the heels of Omicron, the new Covid variant that was detected in South Africa last week. A couple of days later it was labelled as a ‘variant of concern’. The new variant has become a matter of concern for the whole world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the Omicron variant poses a “very high” risk globally. The world health body reiterated that there are still uncertainties about how contagious and dangerous the strain was.

Covishield manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), this week, resumed their exports of vaccines for distribution to low- and middle-income nations under the global vaccine-sharing programme COVAX.

According to the Pune-headquartered company, so far they have crossed the 1.25 billion mark in vaccine production.

The Centre on Tuesday directed the states and UTs to amp up the resting, saying that the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 does not escape RT-PCR and RAT tests. The Centre told the states to undertake effective surveillance of international passengers even as it asserted that no case of the new variant has been found as yet in the country.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level virtual meeting with states and UTs to review COVID-19 public health response measures and preparedness amid cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Centre has issued an advisory after looking at the developments globally and is keeping a close watch at ports.