By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], March 14 (ANI): Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, the co-chairman of the National Indian Medical Association (IMA) Covid Task Force on Monday said that through multiple battles with different coronavirus variants, China has perceived a "Zero Covid strategy" from the beginning, which has increasingly been considered unfeasible.
Speaking to ANI, Jayadevan said, "China, unlike most other countries of the world, perceived a Zero Covid strategy from the beginning, opting for lockdown in large cities and provinces, disrupting life severely in the process."
"There are contrasting methods of approach to the pandemic and zero Covid is increasingly considered unfeasible because of the experiences of places like New Zealand Australia and Hong Kong where they had severe outbreaks after keeping the disease out of bounds for a long time," he added.
Jayadevan further explained that the strategy followed by India to flatten the curve and said, "In India, the strategy has been to flatten the curve and to reduce the speed of spread to the extent possible so that the healthcare systems would not be overwhelmed."
"Multiple layers of mitigation strategies were used, including limitation of social gatherings, wearing of masks, particularly in indoor spaces, contact tracing and isolation. This has helped India cope with the pandemic, and in the process, gradually natural infection provided a large umbrella of immunity in the community, supplemented nicely with a sustained vaccination drive," he added.
He also said that in India, vaccine hesitancy is low as compared to other countries like Hong Kong and the US.
"Even before Omicron arrived, a vast majority of India's population had already been either infected or vaccinated or both. Thus, even though Omicron cases were higher in number, the damage inflicted was relatively small for the size of India's population," Jayadevan said.
The doctor also said that China has not even shared the actual spread of COVID 19 but they had been vaccinated which does not protect against infection in the long run.
"China, on the other hand, has not had its share of natural spread of the pandemic in the past two years. It is true that they had been vaccinated, but we know that vaccination is not protective against infection after a few months: this is the case for all COVID vaccines. That's because respiratory mucosal immunity is short-lived," he said.
Jayadevan suggested that the pandemic cannot be stopped by using any single strategy.
"Multiple layers or strategies are to be followed over prolonged periods of time, to reduce the suffering and death rates in the long run," he said.
Meanwhile, India logged 2,503 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday. (ANI)