India sees surge in Covid cases; virus moving towards endemic stage, say officials

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) India is witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases with 7,830 news infections recorded on Wednesday, the highest in over seven months, as per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Affairs data.

However, top officials in the health ministry say that the virus is moving towards an endemic stage, which means that it will be consistently present but limited to a particular region, making it more predictable and manageable.

Officials have noted that while cases may continue to rise over the next 10-12 days, hospitalisations remain low. The virus becoming endemic is likely to generate a large number of variants, according to them.

Since its detection in 2021, Omicron has spawned more than 1,000 sub-lineages, including XBB. 1. 16 and XBB. 1. 5, according to Dr N.K Arora, co-chair of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).

While XBB. 1. 16 has been identified as the cause of a surge in cases, Dr Arora stated that hospitalisations haven’t increased, and most deaths attributed to the disease are among individuals with serious comorbidities. However, he added that the biological behavior of the virus cannot be predicted and that continued surveillance of hospitalisations due to Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) is necessary.

India is ramping up its vaccination drive and promoting adherence to Covid-19 protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands frequently. With the emergence of new sub-lineages of Omicron, officials are urging the public to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The situation is still evolving, and experts are closely monitoring the virus’s behavior to develop effective strategies to combat it,” said an official.

With ongoing surveillance and efforts to control the spread of the virus, officials hope to mitigate its impact and protect public health.

–IANS

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