Covid-19 outbreak: Amid a rising number of Covid-19 cases in some countries, especially China, India has started stepping up its security measures. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday cautioned against complacency, called for a strict vigil, and directed that the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports, be strengthened. “As of now, the situation is not alarming and therefore, there is no need to panic. Prevention is better than cure,” the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said.
Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director – Max Healthcare & Senior Director – Institute of Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, spoke about the situation in India vis a vis China, the precautions India should take and more.
Covid-19 situation: India Vs China
Dr Sandeep Budhiraja shares, “We have seen so far that Covid-19 outbreaks are not localised ones. It does spread. China had a zero Covid policy. They have followed a strict lockdown. So the population of China is not immune to Covid. They are highly vulnerable and as soon as the restrictions were lifted, they have been coming down with Covid-19 in large numbers. Hopefully, this will not happen in India and other countries of the world. Most of the population in India has had exposure to Covid as a disease and is adequately vaccinated. So even if the new variant spreads, hopefully, the disease won’t be severe despite its high level of virulence. It will be mild as India experienced in the early stages of Omicron outbreak.”
BF.7: Latest Covid-19 variant
This is the latest variant that has caused havoc in China and cases have been reported in India as well. Dr Budhiraja says, “So far, mutants of Omicron have been behaving like the original Omicron that was reported earlier this year. But the difference is it is highly infectious, with chances of reinfection, but the disease is still behaving like the original Omicron variant, which led to mild infections. So this is good news. Hopefully, even if this virus spreads, it will remain mild.”
Covid variant BF.7 symptoms
Symptoms: Congestion in the higher parts of the chest and near the throat, fever, sore throat, runny nose and cough are common symptoms. Some people may get stomach-related symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea.
Covid variant BF.7 precautions to take
As Dr Bhudirja points out, India must restart the basic Covid protocols – follow social distancing, wear masks in public gatherings, avoid large congregations of people, maintain hand hygiene and ensure that vaccines are taken (2 doses plus 1booser). The state should also ensure that there’s adequate testing of people and genome sequencing is done to know about new emerging variants.