“Omicron variants lead to rise in Covid cases”
New Delhi: The number of Covid-19 cases in India has increased and the majority of the recorded cases are Omicron variants. The majority of Covid-positive patients have typical symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, body aches, etc.
“There are a number of causes for the increase in Covid cases, including variants of the Omicron virus. It has the characteristic that after contracting Omicron once, a person may contract another variant of Omicron.
However, the severity of the disease can be avoided by vaccination and the immunity thus acquired. Therefore, we can observe that if infections increase, their severity decreases,” Dr GC Khilnani, chairman of the Institute of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at PSRI Hospital, told The Sunday Guardian.
According to data received by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of active cases in India stood at 88,284 as of Friday morning, June 24.
About 17,336 new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours. Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director of LokNayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, told this newspaper on Thursday: “Out of 450 beds, only 28 beds are occupied. Only two patients are under 15 years old and show signs of viral pneumonia and the others are between 30 and 40 years old. Most of them are comorbid patients with hypertension or kidney problems. Omicron BA.2 is common to all.
According to data recorded by the Ministry of Health, cumulative Covid vaccination coverage exceeded 196.77 crore, but this did not lead to the prevention of a surge due to complete disregard of Covid protocols.
Speaking about the outbreak in the NCR region, Dr Rohit Mukherjee, Consultant Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Accord Super Specialty Hospital, Faridabad, told this article: “The booster vaccination campaign did not take the scale and complete disregard for proper Covid behavior is also contributing to the surge in cases. It may also be safe to say that new viral strains are better equipped to evade the host cell’s immune response. The current dominant strain is the previous Omicron wave variant BA.1 and BA.2 once it is overthrown by BA.4 and BA.5 there may be a real surge waiting to happen as these new strains are highly transmissible and the area of attachment being primarily the throat and nasal mucosa where antibodies cannot effectively protect.
Also, children with weakened immune systems and comorbid patients are at higher risk.
In support of this, Dr Mukherjee added: “Children with an impaired immune response or underlying asthma or lung disease are at higher risk. Since the introduction of new vaccines for children, they have now added to their arsenal of protection. The most vulnerable are the elderly population, men are more at risk than women and other patients with asthma, COPD, HIV, diabetics, organ transplant recipients, chronic kidney disease are more at risk .
Some of the long-term consequences described by Dr. Mukherjee are prolonged breathing difficulties, anxiety and palpitations, lethargy and body aches, prolonged unexplained mild fever secondary to immune dysregulation, and memory loss.
However, Kolkata-based public health expert Dr Debayan Mallik said the exact long-term consequences have yet to be confirmed and need to be studied further.
“It is too early to assume the exact long-term consequences of Covid, but we know that some lung conditions are the remnants of previous Covid disease, but we must be careful of the increase in Covid cases”, a- he declared.