Will the Covid threat linger in India as the situation worsens in China?
Just as the world begins to live with Covid and its variants as part of their lives, the situation in China appears as a terrifying reminder of the days before the pandemic raged the world. . Coronavirus cases are on the rise again in some countries, especially China where the landscape has changed massively. After Chinese cities lifted restrictions following mass protests in late November, Covid-19 infections skyrocketed in the country. Reports suggest that the recent increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in China is due to the sub-variant Omicron BF.7. The rise in China has turned attention to Covid in India with the government requiring people to get vaccinated and wear masks. If you are wondering what the impact of Covid will be in India, let’s find out.
China’s ZERO Covid policy backfires
China is one of the countries taking the most stringent measures to limit the increase in corona virus infections. From mass testing to a strong vigilance system to shutting down all public forums, Covid-19 restrictions in China have been in place even as there are few cases of the disease. However, the Chinese government was forced to lift these restrictions after violent protests.
Experts say that Covid restrictions in China were lifted suddenly without notifying hospitals. The sudden abandonment of the ZERO Covid policy due to increasing protests is being cited as the main reason for the outbreak.
Sub-variant Omicron BF.7 promotes coronavirus situation in China
Like other viruses, coronaviruses mutate and give rise to other sublineages – a process called convergent evolution. The current increase in China is attributed to variant BF.7, which is a subline of the Omicron BA.5 sub-variant. Different names are given to different variants, depending on which variant they derive from.
The BF.7 variant has affected 5% of cases in the US and more than 7% of cases in the UK, data from several health authorities shows. A study published in the Journal ‘Cell Host and Microbe’ reported that the BF.7 sub-variant was 4.4 times more resistant to neutralization than the original D614G variant.
What is the Covid situation in India?
The epidemic has returned to India’s attention after the recent increase in Covid-19 infections in China, is expected to kill millions there.
Dr Ashutosh Shukla, Senior Director – Medical and Internal Medicine Director, Max Gurugram Hospital, Harayana, explains: “As Covid cases again increase in countries such as China, the United States and Korea with 4 new cases of BF-7 variant. Reportedly in India, it’s time for us to go back to Covid standards. This is because the chances of this variant spreading across the country can be high. Therefore, appropriate Covid behavior such as wearing a mask, frequently washing hands and avoiding crowded places is necessary.”
With Christmas and New Year, crowds are inevitable, increasing the risk of spreading the new variant. Therefore, it is important to practice proper precautions.
“We also recommend that if they go to a crowded place, they should wear a mask and wash their hands often and properly with water, if not available, use hand sanitizer and maintain social distancethis will help prevent the spread of Covid again,” advised Dr. Shukla.
Government plans to enforce strict measures to limit the possibility of Covid-19 increase in India
Before the Covid epidemic situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting. He emphasized the need to ensure that the entire infrastructure is well prepared in terms of equipment, processes and human resources while chairing a high-level meeting to review Covid-19 preparedness- 19 by the government before the increase in infections in China.
The Prime Minister called for increased testing and genome sequencing activities. INSACOG’s genome sequencing facilities have asked the states to provide them with a substantial amount of samples on a daily basis. He also urged people to follow Covid-19 standards, especially before the festive season.