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COVID-19 heading towards ‘endemic’ stage, says AIIMS senior epidemiologist

Bihar, Apr 16 (ANI): Health worker takes swab samples of migrants arriving from Maharashtra outside COVID-19 testing counter, amid the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, at Patna railway station in Patna on Friday. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: A senior epidemiologist at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi on Sunday (January 23) said SARS-CoV-2 which is commonly known as COVID-19 is heading towards an endemic stage. Endemic is a stage where cases are confined to a particular geographical location and the cases are constantly present in low numbers in that specific area.

“Looking at the COVID-19 vaccination status and the natural infection, we can say that very soon, the majority of us will be getting an infection. And then this virus will convert into the endemic virus,” Dr Sanjay Rai told here.

The AIIMS senior epidemiologist also remarked that those who recovered from the COVID are the best-protected people as of now based on the scientific evidence followed by vaccinated persons.

“COVID-19 is RNA virus and the virus has mutated thousands of times. Although, the variant of concern are only five like alpha, beta, gamma delta and currently, Omicron which is a very fast transmitting disease. So very fast transmission is taking place all over the world,” the health expert said.

“The overall severity is less so the majority of us will get this infection. Based on the current scientific evidence, we can see those who recovered from the COVID they are the best-protected person as of now, then the second-best protective person is those who had the vaccination,” he added.

Dr Rai also said that Omicron spread is happening in the country and mainly in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai because of the population density although in rural areas and eastern part of India progression of the virus is slow.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is in the community transmission stage in India and has become dominant in multiple metros where new cases have been rising exponentially, the INSACOG has said in its latest bulletin.

The INSACOG, in its January 10 bulletin that was released on Sunday (january 23), said while most Omicron cases so far have been asymptomatic or mild, hospitalisations and ICU cases have increased in the current wave and the threat level remains unchanged.

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