With the world particularly China is in the eye of a fresh COVID storm, it has raised questions about how India would be affected, as we brace ourselves for the next few months
The World Health Organisation indicated last month that the end of COVID was near, but the reality seems different, and the biggest example is what’s happening in China. The country has been reporting an increased number of infections since last month, and the number keeps getting bigger and bigger each day.
In the past few days there has been news of dead bodies piling up everywhere in China, when the lockdowns were eased out
Why the extreme COVID situation in China?
The Omicron variants doing the round in China right now are far more infectious than the previous sub variants and this is the reason behind the sudden COVID surge despite the strong measures.
Liu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing CDC, said that the Omicron BF.7 variant imported from a trading town outside Beijing was the main strain in the current outbreak of COVID-19, He stressed that the variant has resulted in cluster infections in different places of public access such as nursing homes, construction sites and schools.
Another reason for the spread of COVID and the high surge in China was the poor vaccination rate in the country. A BBC report has cited, only about half of people in China aged 80 and above have received primary vaccinations, with fewer than 20% of them having secured a booster. Fewer than 60% of the 60-69 age group are fully vaccinated. These are older age groups who are more vulnerable than others, have been kept inside because of the strict lockdown and are now suddenly exposed, with there being no herd immunity in the country as well.
Why this now should not make us worry for India
Dr Randeep Guleria, a renowned COVID expert and Director of AIIMS, talking about the huge infection rates in neighbouring China and elsewhere in the world said even though the numbers were alarming in China, akin to a crisis here was no reason to panic and ring alarm bell in India, as India built high rates of natural infection which had led to herd immunity and a broader vaccination coverage.
Also, In the past, Dr. Gularia added that “we have had Alpha, Beta and Delta variants which were all different variants and hence the cause for worry was more, but over the last one year we have consistently seen sub-lineages that have only emerged from Omicron” There hasn’t been a new variant that is drastically different. DoFollow
Having said that, there is a counterview as well in the medical fraternity about this fresh COVID surge everywhere else having ramifications for India. The reason for that is that the Omicron BF.7 variant, which is causing the current surge in China and has reached the United States, UK, Australia, and Belgium and had already been detected with lesser numbers in India some two months back.
Kerala Health Expert Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan told news agency ANI that even though the country was showing negligible numbers of COVID which keep on decreasing, the pandemic isn’t over by any means, and precautions still need to be taken.
Going by past indicators, there is a need to be continuously monitor the situation till we are sure how the virus variant of the time is behaving.