Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Do not get carried away by the word endemic Experts amid rising Covid 19 cases

Do not get carried away by the word endemic: Experts amid rising Covid-19 cases

Updated on: 22 June,2022 07:21 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Vinod Kumar Menon |

The highly transmissible Omicron variants will spread even faster in cool weather and citizens must adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour, they say

Do not get carried away by the word endemic: Experts amid rising Covid-19 cases

Vaccine apart, experts have urged the masses to wear a mask and avoid crowded places. Pic/Ashish Raje

Experts are worried as several recent international studies on Omicron variants BA.2.12, BA.4 and BA.5 have hinted at the capability of these strains in evading vaccine immunity and spreading much faster than other variants of COVID-19. This has also raised concerns over the effectivity of the booster dose. Amid rising cases in the city, the BKC Jumbo centre is back in operation after about six months.

Dr Wiqar Shaikh, professor of Medicine, Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, said, “The unfortunate part is that the actual screening that should have been otherwise done is not happening at ground level and those using self-test kits are not reporting their results, nor the administration has any mode to get the said data. Moreover, since the beginning of COVID-19, the word ‘endemic’ has been used quite often thereby, yet the pandemic continues and so is the wave after wave. The need of the hour, especially with monsoon setting in, is to keep infections at bay and moreover other than COVID-19, the seasonal flu will also add to the challenge, and hence COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is a must. As in the recent past, the removal of the mask mandate in Mumbai and Maharashtra and urged the authorities to bring back a strict mask mandate urgently, as also declare severe penalties on violators.”

He quoted a study from Beijing published in the journal “Nature” on June 15, which concluded that BA.2.12, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility over other variants. All 3 variants have capabilities to evade the immune system (defence system) of human beings and exhibit stronger evasion from 3 dose of vaccination, it said.  Dr Shaikh said all 3 variants have been reported from India. The first report on the BA.2.12 variant came from Patna in April which concluded that BA.12 resulted in 10 times more severe Covid-19. 

Dr. Shaikh quoted yet another study from China, published in “Medcomm” on March 16, which said Omicron variants are associated with extraordinary ability to spread and evade the immune system. This increases the risk of infection, reinfection and evade vaccines, said the study.

BA.4, BA.5 like cool weather

Dr Subhash Hira, Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington-Seattle and an invited member of WHO-Geneva Covid panels, said cool weather, overcrowding, closed spaces and “unprotected mouth-nose portum” cause 50-100 times faster transmission of the virus. “In Mumbai, the daily new case occurrence increased from 220 on 4th June to over 4,000 new cases on 16th June. This is a scary situation as seen by health experts. There cannot be an excuse for a progressive, educated city like Mumbai that they were not repeatedly warned since March of the impending 4th wave by June-July.”   

Dr Hira said authorities must expand health services to tackle the adverse effects of the infection. “For example, almost 35 per cent of Covid patients go through acute symptoms of early stage within three-four weeks, and subsequently progress to suffer from ‘long Covid’ i.e. fatigue/muscular pains, disturbed cognitive brain functions, and poor lung functions for many years. These illnesses of ‘long Covid’ occur more frequently in persons who have underlying comorbidities... Taken together, all these non-communicable co-morbidities occur in approximately 45 per cent of the adult population in India.”

BKC jumbo centre starts ops

Dr Rajesh Dhere, dean at Jumbo centre, BKC, said they started operations last week. “We are seeing a steady number of admissions of above 10 patients daily in the age group of 25 plus to 50 years. Amongst the 49 patients admitted till date including a paediatric case, we had around nine patients on oxygen support, who recovered, and no ICU cases yet. In my opinion, in the next fortnight, we may get a clear picture of where we are heading towards, in terms of the fourth wave.”

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK