Currently, Covid-19 and its subvariant are back again in full swing across different cities in India. Over the past week in Delhi along with a few more states, there has been a steady rise in the number of Covid-19 cases. Over the last seven days, about eight hundred seventy-seven fresh cases of infection have been registered. Most of the genome sequencing which has been done on the patients has shown the presence of a sub-lineage variant of Omicron which is XBB.1.16.
The experts are of the view that just like every other Omicron variant this variant too is capable of escaping old immunity that has been gathered from past infections such as Delta, Alpha, and Omicron. It has every capacity to invade the human body. However, at the same time, the experts are also of the view that, despite the subvariant being contagious, there may not be a severity in the number of cases this time too.
Dr. G R Babu, who happens to be an epidemiologist, noted that till the time there happens to be a rise in the number of deaths or hospitalizations, a rise in the number of infected persons does not mean that there is a spike or wave of the infection.
Dr. Babu further states that even though this variant is more contagious among the other Omicron variants yet, there is no evidence as of now about its severity. It means that the previous dosages of vaccinations are still functioning in protecting the body.
The previous surge in infections and the vaccinations which followed after that has been capable of building a high level of protection in the body. Since Covid has become an endemic now, the different proactive steps regard to its surveillance will state the future course of action around it.
Dr. C Lahariya, who also happens to be an epidemiologist, has said that in comparison to the other stains, this new strain has an advantage in its growth and can go on to replace the other variants. So, that might lead to the number of daily cases rising. But there shall not be a wave, and neither will there be a severity as we have seen during 2000 and 2001.
In January 2022, after there was a wave of Omicron, the cases of Covid had declined. But again by the month of August, across the different parts of Delhi, there were quite a number of fresh cases detected. It was due to multiple sub-lineages. Then from September onwards, the daily cases began to drop again bringing it down to single digits.
XBB.1.16 happens to be a new strain that is composed of combining the sublineages BA 2.75 and BA 2.10.1. Right now according to the reports, it has been found in about fourteen to fifteen countries. Dr. Lalit Kant says that the traces of infections has been milder till now and has not become severe. Even the hospitalizations have not gone up too. But people with comorbidities have the risk of having it.
Although there is no solid evidence or data which states that there has been a boost in immunity after the vaccination. It has only shown that the vaccinated people have been spared from undergoing the severity of the virus. The precautionary dose must b taken by those who fall under the high-risk segment.