Vaccination only weapon as India likely to see surge in Covid cases: Expert

By Jasleen Kaur -- January 11, 2022 6:11 pm -- Updated:January 11, 2022 6:22 pm
New Delhi: With the high transmissibility of Omicron variant of Covid-19, India is likely to witness a sharp surge in the number of cases in the coming days. However, following Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination could help contain the spread of coronavirus, noted a top health expert.

As per the latest coronavirus update, India reported more than 1.5 lakh new Covid-19 cases for the third consecutive day on Tuesday. The country reported 1,68,063 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Covid-19 Working Group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) Dr NK Arora said, "The Covid-19 peak will depend on the virus transmission, and how well the community adheres to the Covid-appropriate behaviour. If the norms are violated, a faster and taller peak is likely to occur. On the other hand, vaccination and administrative actions such as night curfews, and weekend curfews tend to flatten the curve."

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"The way that the IIT-Kanpur model has shown, it looks like, the transmission is taking place very actively and we should be reaching our peak in the near future. But it is likely to last for several weeks before it subsides," he added.

Asked about the kind of variant of Covid-19 mostly being detected in the country amid the ongoing coronavirus third wave, Dr Arora said by the behaviour of the virus, it seemed that the wave was driven by the Omicron variant.

"It appears that most of the cases being reported in the country now are of Omicron variant. The initial experience from the genomic surveillance showed that from 10 days to two weeks, over 90 per cent of the virus is circulating in big cities such as Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, which is Omicron variant. The behaviour, mild illness, everybody in the family getting infected, it looks like the surge is driven by Omicron," he said.

However, the expert added that the Delta variant responsible for the devastating second wave in the country in April-May 2021 could still be found in some parts of the country where the Delta epidemic was already going on.

"There will be some cases of Delta as well in the areas where Delta epidemic was already going on like some districts of Tamil Nadu and the areas of the Northeastern states. So in a situation like this, we should be more focused on taking care of Omicron and its management," he stated.

On Covid deaths in India, the doctor said most of the deaths were associated with patients with comorbidities.

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-PTC News

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