Endemic Pandemic

THOUGH the Third Covid wave has swept through India on an almost similar scale as the second wave, life has more or less remained normal. There have been fewer hospitalizations and deaths and virtually no demand for oxygen. This despite the fact that India's daily Covid caseload rose to 2.34 lakh cases on Sunday, taking the total tally to 4.10 crore. The active cases now comprise 4.59 per cent of the total infections. This may be because now the three-fourths of the country’s adult population has been fully vaccinated. This was revealed by prime minister Narendra Modi in his first Mann ki Baat for 2022.  He congratulated “fellow citizens for the momentous feat”.  So far, the cumulative number of doses of vaccine against Covid-19 administered in the country has crossed 165.7 crore. In the next few months, the entire country will have been vaccinated. Also, considering that the third wave has almost touched a significant section of population in the country, the disease has become endemic now. This has also meat that the people could develop herd immunity against the infection which, in turn, could help the world to get a handle on the once runaway pandemic.

But World Health Organization has warned against complacency in India, saying the risk persists despite plateauing of the cases. The WHO’s regional director for South-East Asia Poonam Khetrapal Singh has called for the constant need for vigilance and a focus  on reducing transmission. Singh has also recommended implementation of “situation-specific public health and social measures and increasing vaccine coverage,” saying that is the way forward for all countries in the ongoing pandemic.

After vaccination of a majority of the population, India is well-poised to face the challenge of fresh flare-ups of the contagion. The current wave is largely attributed to Omicron which is said to be potentially more contagious than the delta variant. This has become a cause of some concern. However, the overall situation remains very encouraging. With every passing day, the situation on the Covid-19 front is getting better despite the surge in the cases.  People are recovering within four to five days after the treatment. The once much-feared third wave has not wrought the havoc that the second wave did. The vaccination of a majority of the population has helped people fight the disease better.

As for the Covid infection, there is no other option but to live with it now while going along with our normal lives. More so, when it has apparently moderated now in its severity. That is the only answer to the unprecedented health crisis facing us and the world as a whole.

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