Should India impose a lockdown? A Ex-director of AIIMS reacts to Covid-19 cases growth in China
China, where Covid-19 is spreading like wildfire, is currently hit by the highly transmissible Omicron strain BF.7.
In view of a spike in Covid-19 cases in China and some other countries, former AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that India needs to strengthen its surveillance and vigilance. He also said that a fresh outbreak of severe coronavirus cases and hospitalisation is "unlikely" as people in India have the advantage of 'hybrid immunity' -- the natural immunity due to infection reinforced by vaccination. Dr Guleria said India's present Covid-19 scenario also does not warrant restricting international flights or imposing a lockdown.
"Overall, there is no increase in Covid caseload and India currently is in a comfortable situation. Under present circumstances, there is no need to restrict international flights or impose a lockdown," he told the news agency PTI on Friday (December 23, 2022).
Past experiences show that banning flights is not effective in halting the transmission of infection, he said.
"Moreover, data suggests that the Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which is driving the surge in China, has already been found in our country," the ex-AIIMS director said.
Asked whether a lockdown could be needed in the coming days, Dr Guleria said, "A fresh outbreak of severe Covid cases and hospitalisation is unlikely as the Indian population already has hybrid immunity because of a very good vaccination coverage and natural infection."
"Considering the current situation and a good degree of hybrid immunity in the population, there does not seem to be a need for a lockdown," he added.
It is noteworthy that India has stepped surveillance and genome sequencing of Covid-19 positive samples amid a surge in cases in China, Japan, the US, South Korea, Brazil, France, and some other countries.
China, where the virus is spreading like wildfire, is currently hit by the highly transmissible Omicron strain BF.7.
BF.7 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant BA.5 and has the strongest infection ability as it is highly transmissible. It has a shorter incubation period, and has a higher capacity to cause reinfection or infect even those vaccinated.
India records 227 new Covid-19 infections, coronavirus active caseload rises to 3,424
Meanwhile, India recorded 227 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases increased to 3,424, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. An increase of 27 cases was recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
The country's overall Covid-19 case tally has now climbed to 4,46,77,106, while the death toll stands at 5,30,693 with two fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The active cases comprise 0.01 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate increased to 98.80 per cent, according to the ministry.
According to the health ministry, 220.05 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have so far been administered in the country.