Endemic refers to a disease outbreak which is consistently present but is limited to a particular region which makes it more predictable and manageable. According to officials, even though Covid-19 cases are increasing, hospitalisation is low and it is expected to remain low.
With the fresh cases, the active case count in the country rose to 40,215. The death toll due to the disease has gone up to 5,31,016 with 16 new fatalities being reported —two each in Delhi, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, and one each in Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, and five reconciled by Kerala.
COVID-19 will rise for next 10 Days In India, But…: Everything you need to know about recent surge in cases
Health ministry officials said cases may keep rising for the next 10-12 days after which they will begin to subside. As the virus becomes endemic, it generates a large number of variants.
Omicron, which was first detected in 2021, has been assigned over 1,000 sub-lineages since its detection, including XBB. 1. 16 and XBB. 1. 5. Dr N K Arora, co-chair of the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), said XBB. 1. 16 is causing a surge incases but hospitalisations haven’t gone up and even the deaths being attributed to the disease are mostly among people who have serious comorbidities.
Nonetheless, he added, the biological behaviour of the virus could not be predicted and continued surveillance of hospitalisations due to Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) was needed.
Until January, only about 120 to 140 new cases were being reported daily. But the latest data shows numbers have gone up to over 7,000. Many states are advising people to wear masks in crowded places and hospitals are being readied to deal with any potential emergency.
Dr Suresh Kumar, senior physician and head of clinical services at Delhi’s Lok Nayak Hospital, which is the largest facility for Covid management in the national capital, said the disease symptoms were mild in most patients this time compared to the previous peaks of Covid-19.