‘Don’t Let Your Guard Down Thinking Omicron Is Mild Infection’

A crowded platform at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station amid concern over rising cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 across the country, in Mumbai. (Photo: PTI/File)

New Delhi- Dr PS Chandra, Professor, Neurosurgery, AIIMS in Delhi said that the COVID-19 cases which are rising exponentially now in the country will start declining in a few weeks, but caution is important and we should prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

“There are reasons to believe that this will be over within weeks, As it has happened in Africa and South Africa hardly has any cases as of now numbers are reducing. So these are the silver lining but again, we have to be cautious for a couple of reasons. First, it is very, very infectious. So obviously you know we should not let our guard down. So continue masking, continue social distancing, then continue working from home. Avoid any kind of unnecessary travel, avoid any kind of unnecessary gathering, public gathering is to be completely discouraged. So all these things have to be continued,” said Dr Chandra while speaking to ANI.

He further said the Omicron virus is highly infectious and it is going to increase the herd immunity.

“There are certain several silver lining to it, and we should go forward with a sense of caution. And our strategy should be that we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. A large number of people are asymptomatic, which is good in a way because it’s likely to increase the herd immunity, so more people, you know, get infected and they’re completely asymptomatic. Obviously, it’s going to form that immunological barrier to prevent the further stretch and again, lastly, but not the least, because it’s highly infectious,” he said.

Dr Chandra showed concern over hospitalization and emphasized taking precautions.

“The second concern we have is that because we have a huge population. So even if one per cent of the population would require hospitalization that would be a huge number. We don’t want our hospital infrastructure to collapse. And from that perspective, it becomes the responsibility of each and every citizen. They should not let their guard down saying that it’s only a mild infection. So they have to be careful not just for themselves, but also for the entire community. You do not want to increase the burden on the community. So that all our hospital beds are clogged,” he added.

He further said that most resident doctors in his team are sick and if healthcare workers get sick in a large numbers then that can lead to trouble for the whole system.

“We have to protect our healthcare workers. They have to take full precautions because they are the soldiers on the frontline. So if they are going to fall down who’s going to take care of all the patients. So for instance, in my unit you know, almost 50 per cent of the residents are sick. They’re all having mild symptoms, they’re doing well. But the fact is, they have not been able to report for work. So that’s very, very crucial that the healthcare workers must be protected, not just for their own sake, but also for the sake of taking care of people who aresick with COVID-19,” said Dr Chandra

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