Is Covid-19 finally over in India? This is what WHO and experts have to say

Is Covid-19 finally over in India? This is what WHO and experts have to say
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  • India’s Covid tally fell below the 5,000 mark on September 19, but the number of active cases rose.
  • ‘We've never been in a better place to end the Covid-19 pandemic,’ said WHO’s director general.
  • Top Indian scientists and public health experts also suggest that India is unlikely to witness a new wave of Covid.
  • ‘Pandemic is over in the US’ President Joe Biden said in an interview while the country is still reporting cases of a new variant of Omicron.
The long drawn battle against Covid-19 could be drawing to a close, provided all necessary precautions are taken and vaccinations are ramped up according to experts.

However, the disease still persists and is not yet fully over as cases are still being reported on a daily basis, they warn.

On Monday, September 19, India’s daily Covid case count fell below the 5,000 mark, at 4,858 cases, with 18 new fatalities. But the number of active cases saw an uptick by 105 cases, taking the total to around 48,000, according to health ministry data.

India has administered 2.16 billion vaccine doses as of now including adults and teens aged between 12-14 years.

‘Better place to end the Covid-19 pandemic’

WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that the Covid-19 situation was getting better and we are near the end of the pandemic.


“We've never been in a better place to end the Covid-19 pandemic, but only if all countries, manufacturers, communities and individuals step up and seize this opportunity. Otherwise, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, disruption and uncertainty. Let's finish the job!” Ghebreyesus said in a media briefing.

He also asked the governments to increase their efforts by ramping up the vaccination drive, increase testing surveillance and do more genomic sequencing to spot new variants.

“We are not approaching a situation where Covid is becoming a seasonal virus. There is high transmission in all parts of the world currently, regardless of season,” WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan clarified the statement made by Ghebreyesus.

India may not witness another wave say experts

Recently, top Indian scientists and public health experts, according to a report by Livemint, said that India may not witness a fresh wave of Covid-19 like in China — as people have developed a hybrid immunity due to vaccination and natural infection.

It also added that a large population of India has already been exposed to Omicron variants during the third wave. Therefore, they may not be affected by the current Omicron variants.

“In India, people were exposed to Covid in the first, second and Omicron-dominated third wave. As of now, we can be sure that we cannot get affected with the current Omicron variant until a new variant of concern (VoC) which is more dangerous occurs and (if) vaccines don’t impact,” said Dr Pragya Yadav, senior scientist at the government’s ICMR-NIV Pune.

The number of fatalities has gone drastically down in recent times. “We have all Omicron viruses, which are circulating in any part of the world and despite that, Covid cases are declining in India. This means that our Covid vaccination strategy and immunity through natural infection has played a key role,” Dr N K Arora, chief of the government’s NTAGI said.

President Biden announces Covid is over in the US

Even though the US continues to grapple with the virus, President Joe Biden, in an interview today, said that the ‘pandemic is over’ in the country.

On the other hand, top US health economist and epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding took a dig at the remark made by the President.

“Heck no. With all due respect, Joe Biden sir — you’re wrong. Pandemic is not over. Almost 3,000 Americans are dying from Covid19 every single week,” Feigl-Ding tweeted.

In fact, a new subvariant of Omicron BA.4.6, which is a descendent of BA.4, is spreading across the US and accounts for more than 9% percent of the cases being recorded daily.

The variant has also been identified in several other countries around the world like the United Kingdom. India hasn’t reported any case of this variant so far.

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