A top expert predicts that Covid will become endemic in India within the next six months, arguing that a new variant will not be enough to cause the third wave of infections.
“This pandemic has defied most of our predictions, but we will approach endemic status in the next six months,” Sujeet Singh, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
Dr. Singh believes that if Covid becomes endemic, the infection will become more manageable and easier on the healthcare system.
“If the mortality and morbidity are under control, then we can manage the disease,” he said, adding that Kerala, which had a large susceptible pool, is also recovering from the raging Covid crisis that it faced a few weeks ago.
Vaccination is the most effective way to protect against coronavirus, according to Dr. Singh.
“A total of 75 crore people have been immunized. If vaccine effectiveness is 70%, then approximately 50 crore people in India have immunity. A single dose provides immunity of 30-31 percent. As a result, the 30 crore people who received a single dose are also immunized “He stated.
Even after vaccination, people must follow Covid-appropriate behavior, according to the expert. Breakthrough infections, or people who have been fully vaccinated becoming infected, will occur in 20-30% of cases, according to Dr. Singh.
“Breakthrough infections are caused by new variants as well. According to scientists, the level of immunity begins to decline 70 to 100 days after vaccination “He elaborated.
Infections would be reduced through increased virus exposure and vaccination, according to Dr. Singh.
There is no new variant in India, according to the NCDC chief. C1.2 and Mu strains, which are currently causing concern, have not been discovered in the country.
“A third wave cannot be caused solely by a new variant. The factor will consist of a combination of behavior and antibodies. Because of the festival season, there is some concern “Dr. Singh stated.