India on Road to Recovery From Third Wave of Omicron

© REUTERS / ANUSHREE FADNAVISWomen walk past a graffiti amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Delhi, India, February 7, 2022
Women walk past a graffiti amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Delhi, India, February 7, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.02.2022
India recorded 8,013 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours on Monday, 22 percent lower than Sunday's spike of over 10,000 cases, according to the federal Health Ministry. India presently has a total of 102,601 COVID patients, with 16,765 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.
Amid a drop in the daily infections of coronavirus in India, several states have now lifted night curfews and various curbs, allowing schools, colleges, and public places to open.
While many people are returning to normal life and hoping that the end of the third wave of Omicron variant is in sight, several Indian doctors are warning people that danger still remains.

Is End of COVID-19 Pandemic Near?

Life seems to be going back to normal with the reopening of educational institutes and offices across India.
However, doctors warn that people should not put their guard down just yet.
Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, Internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, believes that given the way coronavirus is mutating, the threat of the emergence of another variant can’t be ruled out.
“It is well known that viruses mutate to survive. It isn’t unexpected that the COVID virus is also mutating fast but with this mutation, it is expected that the severity of the virus will reduce. It can be assumed that in the future its symptoms will be like normal flu,” Dr. Chatterjee tells Sputnik.
Dr. Ravi Shekhar Jha, a senior consultant in the Department Of Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine at Fortis Escorts Hospital, shares that people need to wait for at least a year to declare the end of the pandemic.
“Given the highly mutagenic potential of this virus, it is premature to say that the pandemic is over. We need to wait for one year at least to declare it is over,” Dr. Jha tells Sputnik.

BA.2 A Variant of Concern

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified three sub-variant of the omicron coronavirus strain – BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3.
While the original BA.1 of Omicron was dominant in many countries, BA.2 has displaced its earliest forms and is believed to be a heavily mutated and highly infectious sub-variant that has been detected in over 57 countries.
Several reports suggest that BA.2 should be declared a variant of concern instead of just being a sub-variant of Omicron.
“BA.2 variant is a sub-lineage of Omicron and variant of concern. Its transmissibility is higher than BA.1 variant and delta however more severe disease due to this has still not been documented,” Dr. Chatterjee says.

Post-Covid Effects on Health

Though the third wave of Omicron is rapidly declining in India, doctors opine that India’s current road to recovery is better than last year’s second wave of Delta variant.
“India has entered the plateau stage of Omicron variant of COVID-19. Most of the patients are recovering from it well and generally symptoms of this virus are diminishing in a week or two,” Dr. Chatterjee says.
“However, a few patients are complaining of palpitations, shortness of breath on excursion, and fatigue which needs to follow-up,” he says.
The second wave of the COVID-19 Delta variant created havoc in India in April 2021, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths.
“Delta variant had severe prolonged effect especially those related to cardiac complications, tuberculosis fungus infection and lung fibrosis. Omicron variant has been mild with very little prolonged effect including headache, body ache, and weakness,” Dr. Jha says.

Road to Recovery

Though the severity of the third wave has reduced, it has forced people recovering from COVID to adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
“Leading a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced healthy diet, less of stress, good sleep and exercises allowed by the treating physician works really well. For mental well-being, patients are advised to indulge in some hobbies,” Dr. Chatterjee says.
The need of the hour is to get COVID vaccination and boosters on time and continue being wary.
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