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Rising Covid infections, deaths not a cause of concern, virus has become endemic’

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The current increase seen in both Covid infections and deaths due to there is no cause of concern, experts said here on Tuesday, contending that we have reached Covid endemicity.

India on Tuesday recorded 7,633 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the number of active infections to 61,233, according to Union Health Ministry data.

In the last week, the country reported close to 10,000 cases a day, against just 100 cases a day six weeks back. The country saw a 79 per cent increase in the number of cases week on week.

Talking to IANS, infectious disease expert Dr. Ishwar Gilada said that with waning immunity, we can keep getting more Covid cases.

“Given the way, the cases are getting multiplied now, by the end of May, the numbers can go up to one lakh a day, (but) even then I wouldn’t call it a wave.

“We need to do a lot of surveillance and that is to deduct the periodic ups and lows which is part of the endemicity in which we are already in. As there are no new variants in the last 16 months, we need not worry that there will be a major wave. We should keep our fingers crossed. I don’t think there’ll be a fourth wave,” he said.

“Covid-19 seems to have become endemic and like the flu, we may see highs and lows in the near future,” added Dr Anita Mathew, Infectious Disease Specialist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

Along with the infection, the number of fatalities are also rising.

The Health Ministry reported 11 deaths – Delhi (4), Haryana (1), Karnataka (1) and Punjab (1), while four fatalities were reconciled by Kerala.

According to Dr Gilada, about 70 per cent deaths are seen among people aged 60 and above and those with comorbidities, uncontrolled diabetes, renal problem cancer patients, chemotherapy patients, and tuberculosis patients.

“In the current scenario, there has been a rise in the Covid cases but the majority of them are mild and self-limiting. These are steadily increasing, because of host and environmental factors, but the concern is for immunocompromised elderly and transplant populations,” Dr. Vasant Nagvekar, Co-director of Infectious Disease at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital & Research Centre, told IANS.

The current rise in Covid cases also include reinfections, which the experts noted is because of waning immunity both from infections and vaccinations.

“The hybrid immunity which is infection plus vaccine… both are waning and therefore, people who have been already earlier infected or vaccinated can still get infection, but the only better thing will be the infection will be milder — they will not require ICU or ventilator,” Dr. Gilada said.

“The only way to limit the spread of the disease is vaccination and masking, we need to do the same in order to protect the high-risk population. We need not be alarmed; however, we need to be vigilant,” Dr Mathew told IANS.



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