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Know the reasons behind rapid surge in Covid-19 cases in India

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It was in late 2019 when Covid-19 upended the world in the most ferocious way, locking us all up in our houses. Fast forward to 2022, India and other countries were able to control the surge to the extent of roaming around freely without the fear of an infection lingering on our heads. But were we too careless in the pursuit of wanting a free life? Or is it because of the new Covid variant XBB.1.16?

Covid cases in India cross the 6000 mark in 24 hours

Coronavirus cases in India are rapidly increasing, with 6,050 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, as per the Ministry of Health. According to April 7 data, there are 28,303 active cases in the nation, and the daily positivity rate is at 3.39 percent. The recovery rate, on the other hand, remained the same as the previous day at 98.75 percent and the number of ongoing cases now represents 0.06 percent of the total caseload in India. Out of the total number of cases, 3,320 recoveries occurred in the last 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 4,41,85,858.

The statistics suggest that there is an upward trend in the number of Covid-19 cases not just today, but over the past few weeks. So, Health Shots reached out to industry professional Dr Jitendra Choudhary, Consultant – Intensive Care & Critical Care, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, Mumbai, to understand the reason behind the surge.

Also Read: Too much alcohol can increase Covid-19 risk, says study! Here’s how to protect yourself

Reasons behind the Covid surge in India

So, the microscopic villain has crept its way into our lives yet again but how? The expert points out multiple reasons why COVID-19 cases are constantly increasing in India, and what could be done to protect yourself.

1. Relaxation of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour

Did you stop wearing masks because you thought Covid is almost gone? You’re not alone! A relaxation of Covid appropriate norms became normal after the last wave of coronavirus in India. Dr Choudhary thinks that this relaxation is the main reason behind the current surge.

“As the vaccination drive progresses, some people may have developed a false sense of security and lowered their guard against the infection,” he adds.

Covid-19 in India
Not following COVID appropriate behaviour can lead to fresh surge in cases. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Low testing rate

Since many people lowered their guard against coronavirus in the past few months, they refused to get tested for the symptoms they experienced, points out the doctor. Low testing and tracing capacity in some states, which may have led to under-reporting of cases and delayed detection of outbreaks. This may have allowed the virus to spread undetected and infect more people, states the expert.

3. Emergence of new variant

According to leading epidemiologists and virologists, the new Covid variant XBB.1.16 could be the reason behind the increase in these cases. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid, keeps mutating and leading to the birth of new strains such as XBB.1.16. Detected in several states of India, the new variant is believed to be more transmissible as compared to the previous variants.

Following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour is important even if you are vaccinated

One of the most powerful tools against Covid-19 is the vaccines developed to fight the infection. While getting inoculated can reduce the risk and may protect you from severe illness, Dr Choudhary says that it does not guarantee complete protection against the infection. So, you can still get infected if you are vaccinated because variants tend to evade immunity, however, the infection may not be as deadly.

COVID-19 in India
Vaccination is the best defence against COVID-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Most breakthrough infections are mild or asymptomatic, and very few result in hospitalisation or death. Therefore, vaccinated people are still advised to follow public health measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding crowded places, especially in areas with high transmission rates. Vaccination also helps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to others who may be more vulnerable, such as non-vaccinated people or those with underlying health conditions. By getting vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself but also your family and community, adds the expert.

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