In one of the most positive news for the country over the past 1.5 years, Covid will start becoming endemic in India in the next six months, a top expert has said, asserting that a new variant can’t alone bring the third wave of infections.
In an interview to a leading TV news channel, Sujeet Singh, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said, “This pandemic has defied most of our predictions but in the next six months, we will approach endemic status.”
Dr Singh explained that this would meaning that COVID-19 will become more manageable and take a lesser toll on the health infrastructure.
Stressing on the importance of vaccination in fighting the virus, Singh said that people need to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour even after getting jabbed. He also cautioned that breakthrough infections – in which fully-vaccinated people get infected – will happen in around 20 to 30 percent of cases.
“75 crore people have been vaccinated. If vaccine effectiveness is 70 per cent, then around 50 crore people in India have got immunity. A single dose gives 30-31% immunity. So the 30 crore people, who have received a single dose, are also immunised,” he said.
He noted that the state of Kerala was also rising above the health crisis it found itself in some weeks ago.
The NCDC head said that no new variants, including the C1.2 and Mu strains, have been found in India. He said, “Just a new variant cannot cause a third wave. The factor will be a mix of behaviour and antibodies. There is some worry because of the festival season.”
According Singh, the infections tend to reduce through vaccination and more exposure to the virus.