India (MNN) — A new COVID-19 variant, named Omicron, has cropped up in several countries around the world. It was first identified by a South African scientist.
It has shown signs of being more contagious than previous variants. However, the symptoms may be milder than were initially feared. Scientists will need weeks to understand Omicron’s effects, and how well current COVID-19 vaccines work against it.
Starting December 1, India instated mandatory testing for travelers into the country, regardless of vaccinations status. The vigilance comes after a horrific year for COVID-19 in India. A case spike in April and May saw hundreds of thousands test positive every day.
On November 29, Sammy Tippit Ministries held an evangelistic event in the Punjab State of India. Tippit says, “The only reason we were able to get permissions to have this meeting was things were getting better. Just now, this new variant has come out. But it’s not really infiltrated everywhere yet. Maybe in a week from now, we wouldn’t have been able to have this meeting.”
Over 20,000 people gathered for the event, but another 100,000 others watched over the internet. Tippit says, “We had a number of people come to Christ. We had thousands respond. Now though, we’re more equipped for doing this. Because now we have an app that they can download and start the discipleship process. We have the leadership training for small groups as well.”
Pray these new believers in Punjab will connect with other Christians in the area.
And praise God this event was able to happen before Omicron makes gatherings in India more difficult. Tippit says, “I just see the hand of God. We had one particular week in which we could do such a large evangelistic outreach without jeopardizing the health of people and putting them in a bad position.”
(Photo courtesy of Prashant Kharote, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)