Former AIIMS director Dr. Randeep Guleria stated on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, that the new XBB.1.16 variation may be responsible for the recent increase in the incidence of Covid-19 infections in India. Nonetheless, he emphasized that there was no need for alarm so long as it did not result in serious disease and death. As the virus continues to mutate over time, new variations will emerge, and XBB 1.16 is a “new child on the block,” Guleria told the news agency PTI in an interview.
Guleria, who was also a member of the national Covid-19 task team, stated, “As long as they don’t result in serious disease, hospitalization, and fatalities, that’s okay since it helps give the community some degree of immunity if they have a mild illness.”
He stated that the virus develops with time, which occurs with both Covid-19 and influenza; this phenomenon is known as antigenic drift.
He stated that it will progressively develop, mutate slightly, and produce new varieties.
“If we recall the Covid-19 epidemic, it began with the Alpha, Beta, Gamma Delta, and Omicron versions… So, the virus continued to evolve. Fortunately, if we examine the events of the past year, we have acquired variations that are essentially sub-lineages of Omicron. Therefore it appears that the virus has stabilized somewhat, as it is not evolving as fast as it once did “Dr Guleria stated.
In response to whether XBB 1.16 had the potential to generate a new wave of cases in the coming days, he stated, “You may see an increase in the number of cases, but they may be underreported since people were originally really frightened and would be tested.”
“Today, even if they have flu-like symptoms, the majority of individuals do not get tested. Some individuals utilize the quick antigen test, and if they test positive, they do not disclose it. So, the number we provide may be lower than the real number in the community “he said.
Dr. Guleria recommended persons who test positive to disclose the information, as doing so assists policymakers and the government in determining the number of cases and planning a response.
As long as the increase does not convert into hospitalizations and fatalities, there is no cause for concern, he added.
He stated that active observation is required at both the hospital and community levels to determine whether there is a rise in the number of cases and hospital admissions, so that containment methods and other public health measures may be adopted in a timely manner.
The number of Covid cases in Maharashtra has crossed 300 in 5 months, with 10 deaths in March.
Mumbai, which was India’s hottest city during the majority of Covid waves in 2020 and 2021, provided less than a third of the state’s total (71) on Wednesday.
Even though the state’s daily Covid-19 instances surpassed 300 (334) for the first time in over five months, the number of Covid fatalities in March rose to 10, with one occurring in Solapur on Wednesday. The increase in Covid activity in Maharashtra may be gauged by the fact that on 1 March, just 32 instances were recorded, and there were no fatalities in February.
Mumbai, which was the hottest city in India during the majority of Covid waves in 2020 and 2021, produced less than one-third of the state’s total (71) on Wednesday. There have been no Covid fatalities in the city during the months of February and March.
Covid instances are increasingly being identified in patients scheduled for surgeries or admitted to the hospital with high fever, according to a physician from Bombay. “The cause of Covid is a new virus. Occasionally, the number of cases or outbreaks will increase “explained the physician. There has been a minor rise in hospitalizations in Mumbai over the past week, with 26 persons hospitalized on Wednesday, compared to only one hospitalized patient on Sunday. According to the BMC update, ten of these patients require oxygen assistance.
The influenza H3N2 virus, the coronavirus-causing SARS-CoV-2, and adenoviruses have sent countless individuals to hospitals. Since January 1, 3,15,000 people in the state are believed to have been infected with H1N1 or H3N2 influenza viruses, according to an influenza report released by the state on Wednesday.