Covid-19: Here’s what experts say on rising cases in India & concerns over new variants

Updated on Jun 11, 2022 10:28 PM IST
  • As India logged over 8,000 in the last 24 hours, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria cited poor turnout for booster doses and non-adherence of Covid-appropriate behaviour as the top reasons behind the spike.
A medical professional shows Covid test results. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo)
A medical professional shows Covid test results. (Sonu Mehta / HT Photo)
Written by Ishika Yadav | Edited by Sohini Goswami

The rise in the number of daily Covid cases that India has been reporting over the past few days should not be a cause for panic, said top health experts, while dismissing fears of the emergence of any new variant of the virus.

As India logged over 8,000 in the last 24 hours, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria cited poor turnout for booster doses and non-adherence of Covid-appropriate behaviour as the top reasons behind the spike.

According to Dr Guleria, people were being unenthusiastic about getting the booster dose against the coronavirus and it was one of the key reasons behind the latest rise in cases. “Complacency has set in among people towards following Covid-appropriate behaviour,” the AIIMS director said.

Further, increased mobility due to summer holidays, easing of travel restrictions - (both nationally and internationally), full-fledged opening up of economic activities are furthering the spread of the virus, medical experts said.

‘No new variant of concern’

No new variant of concern has been found so far, and the rise so far is limited to a few districts, said Dr NK Arora, chairman of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI). "First of all, we have not found any new variant of concern. India now has BA.4 and BA.5, in addition to BA.2, which have a slightly higher transmissibility as compared to the other Omicron sub-lineages," Dr Arora said.

No increase in hospitalisations or deaths

Dr Guleria said although there is a rise in the number of cases, there is no associated increase in hospitalisation or deaths. Despite the rise in infections, hospitalisations and deaths have been low as most of the reported cases are believed to be mild.

India on Thursday reported 8,329 Covid-19 new cases, according to data shared by the Union health ministry. This is the highest since February 28 (when 8,013 cases were reported). Six states and Union territories - Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana and Tamil Nadu - have more than 1,000 active Covid cases. Restrictions are likely to be tightened across the country amid the fresh rise in infections.

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