28 Dec 2022

Covid-19: India May See Surge In January, What Experts Say

New Delhi: The next 40 days will be crucial as India may see a surge in Coronavirus cases in January, official sources said on Wednesday citing the pattern of previous outbreaks. 

 "Previously, it has been noticed that a new wave of pandemic hits India around 30-35 days after it hits East Asia. This has been a trend," an official said. 

The Health Ministry sources, however, said the severity of the infection is less. Even if there is a wave, deaths and hospitalisation will be very low, they said.

 Amid a rise in Covid-19 cases in some countries, including China and South Korea, the government has sounded an alert and told states and Union territories to prepare for any eventuality.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya have held meetings to assess the country's preparedness to deal with a fresh surge in cases. 

The latest spike in cases is being driven by Omicron sub-variant BF.7. The official sources said the transmissibility of this BF.7 subvariant is very high and an infected person can further infect 16 persons.

What experts say

Experts, however, said the situation in India is not likely to be serious like China and there is no reason to expect that the Indian Covid situation could be similar to Chinese situation, which is specifically shaped by the zero-Covid policies that the country implemented for almost three years. 

Satyajit Rath, adjunct faculty at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, said there is no evidence yet to indicate any major nationwide 'wave' of severe Covid illness. Both the government and society, he added, have failed in continuing to recognise that the pandemic is still ongoing and needs a long-term systematic public health-oriented and structured response. 

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