Community Transmission of Omicron

The Genome Consortium INSACOG recently announced that Omicron is at the “Community Transmission” stage in India. The ICT admissions and hospitalisation of patients are increasing. The Omicron has become dominant in metros though the infections are asymptomatic and mild.

Community Transmission

According to the World Health Organization, the community transmission occurs when larger outbreaks of local transmission occur. The community transmission cannot be linked to increasing positive tests in a region, transmission chains or large number of cases in sentinel labs surveillance. Sentinel labs are those labs that are testing respiratory samples as a standard routine.

Community Transmission in simple terms

Usually, the infection of a COVID-19 patient is traceable. His or her infection is either linked to the travel history of the person. When the source of infection of large number of people in a particular region is not traceable, it is called community transmission.

Community Transmission in other parts of the world

It has confirmed that UK, USA, Indonesia and Australia had faced community transmission. The bird flu and influenza has spread through community transmission in the past. In 2009, the H1N1, commonly known as Swine flu spread through community transmission.


So far, the Health Ministry has not used the term community transmission. During the second wave that was fuelled by the Delta variant, there had been local outbreaks. However, the outbreak pattern was different in different regions.  With the third wave being powered by Omicron, the spread is violent. IIT Madras study says that Omicron can peak in a fortnight.

Positive findings: R – naught value of the virus

Some researchers believe that the R – naught value of the virus is falling. It denotes the virus reproduction. The R – naught is the reproduction value of the virus. Its number has reduced to 1.57.

S – Gene drop out

The S – gene drop out based screening of Omicron is giving false results. The S gene is not present in Omicron. The S – gene is the surface protein found in spike protein of COVID-19 virus.



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