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Covid no longer reason to panic, say experts

The Covid-19 pandemic has reached an endemic stage, resulting in low-level transmissions and a short lived increase in infections whenever a dominant viral strain circulates within a community.

The endemicity is also a clear indication that people, particularly those with compromised immune systems, must continue to take precautions and practice basic respiratory etiquette, such as wearing masks, advise public health experts, doctors, and geneticists.

While there is a surge in Covid-19 infections across many states due to the XBB 1.16 variant, geneticists and doctors here say there is no evidence of disease severity and no increase in hospitalizations.

Because of the mild symptoms, such as a cold, cough, and fever, few people are getting tested for Covid-19. Furthermore, there is a large portion of the general population that is asymptomatic but Covid positive. Doctors advise In case of flu-like symptoms, even if not tested, better to get isolated for two to three days till symptoms subside, doctors said.

“It is very clear that Covid-19 has reached the endemic stage and that’s why we are experiencing a sporadic surge of infections whenever a new variant emerges. A section of the population will always get it. The disease itself will cause mild inconvenience in the form of cold, cough, fever, etc., and it will be part of our lives,” says former Director and Distinguished Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Dr Ch Mohan Rao.

Experts in chest diseases, however, advise immune-compromised individuals with chronic diseases such as kidney, heart, liver, hypertension, and diabetes to take simple precautions such as wearing masks at gatherings.

“Whenever there is a surge in infections, it is better for individuals with co-morbid conditions to wear a mask and avoid large gatherings. Basic cough etiquette must be followed by individuals who already have flu-like symptoms. There is no evidence of severity among the present variants of SARS-CoV-2,” says Superintendent, Chest Hospital, Dr Mahaboob Khan.






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