Explained: What’s driving India’s Covid surge – WeForNews

New strains of Omicron, waning immunity and breakthrough infections among vaccinees are the main reasons for the current Covid spike seen in India, including the nation’s capital, doctors said on Friday.

According to the Union Health Ministry data update on Friday, India recorded 17,336 new Covid-19 infections and 13 new deaths in the last 24 hours. The active workload is 88,284.

With 1,934 cases, the number of infections in the national capital Delhi has doubled in the past 24 hours. In Karnataka, 858 new cases and one death occurred on Thursday. Maharashtra had the highest number of Covid-19 cases at 5,218, with daily cases jumping 60% from the previous day.

States like Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat are reporting more than 1,000 cases daily.

“Cases are increasing because of Omicron and its subvariants because there are several sublines of the virus in circulation. The most prevalent subvariant right now is BA.2, and there are a few cases of BA.4 and BA.5. Although they are just sub-variants, they also have their sub-lines,” said Dr. Akshay Budhraja, Senior Consultant, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Aakash Healthcare Dwarka , at the IANS.

“It is important to know that those who are vaccinated are not 100% protected against the virus because our immunity starts to decline after six months… vaccinated people also have the likelihood of being re-infected,” he said. he adds.

Budhraja said mass vaccination protects people from developing serious complications – the reason most people only suffer from upper respiratory symptoms, not lower respiratory symptoms like Covid pneumonia, and hospitalization is also low at the moment.

However, in some states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, there has been a marginal increase in Covid-related hospitalizations.

According to Dr Ankita Baidya, Infectious Diseases Consultant, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, “fewer Covid patients are coming with lung conditions”.

However, Dr Neha Gupta, infectious disease consultant, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, said patients were showing more severe symptoms than during the previous Omicron wave in January.

“During this wave, we have seen patients with moderately severe Covid-19, which is a bit more severe than the Omicron variant,” Gupta told IANS.

An analysis from the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Covid Genome Sequencing Facility reports that the Omicron BA.2 subvariant was detected in over 83% of samples sequenced in May and June, according to the media.

While the percentage of BA.1, BA.3, BA.4 and BA.5 was found in less than 10% of samples, Omicron and its sublines have been the dominant variant circulating in India from January 2022. In May, the proportion of Omicron BA.2.12.2, BA.1.1.529, BA.3, BA.4, BA.5 sublines increased, according to the report.

So can we say that a fourth wave of Covid has hit India?

This is not a fourth wave, Budhraja said, “but Covid peaks which may differ in time in different parts of India. The fourth wave can only occur if there is presence of a new variant, not just of a different sub-variant”.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health has directed officials to continue to focus on surveillance and whole genome sequencing to analyze all possible mutations while emphasizing adequate testing and effective surveillance to assess the timely spread of Covid-19.

“Sequencing is a very resource-intensive and time-consuming process. That said, sequencing is key to understanding the direction in which the virus is moving. However, sequencing is not essential for diagnosing or treating Covid 19. Therefore, resource allocation is better spent on vaccination, awareness, prevention and treatment,” the IANS told IANS. Dr Pavithra Venkatagopalan, Director, Covid Task Force, Awareness, Rotary Club of Madras Next Gen. .

She stressed the need for “aggressive vaccination for all”.

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