SRINAGAR: It is unlikely that Covid will be completely eliminated but there seems little chance of a significant outbreak of the disease in India in the next two months, a top infectious diseases expert said on Friday.
The remarks of Dr Parvaiz Koul, director of the SKIMS Hospital in Kashmir, came in the backdrop of the highly transmissible Omicron strains, mostly BF.7, causing a spike in coronavirus cases in many countries, including China.
“It is uncertain when or if Covid will become an endemic, but it is unlikely that it will be completely eliminated. We may see occasional outbreaks, if new mutations emerge, like in China. In India, it seems unlikely that there will be a significant new outbreak in the next two-three months,” Koul, a leading pulmonologist and researcher on infectious diseases, said.
Taking to Twitter, Koul said India had an advantage in dealing with Covid due to widespread hybrid immunity but suggested that the high-risk group might have to go for a booster dose.
There is an “advantage due to widespread hybrid immunity, although those at high risk might require an booster if significant time has elapsed from the last dose”, he said.
“Those who haven’t taken the precautionary (booster) dose, must. Watch for government guidelines,” Koul said.
Earlier this week, Koul had said modelling data from credible agencies do not foresee any major Covid wave in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Modelling data from credible agencies (such as from the University of Washington) predict a low circulation of the virus for coming weeks in J&K (Jammu and Kashmir), but models can go horribly wrong,” he had said.
“So stay calm, observe routine precautions and vaccinate if you haven’t, as per the advisories. Safety saves. Better safe than sorry,” the SKIMS Hospital’s director had said.