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No new variant but severity, hospitalisation being monitored: NCDC on surge in COVID cases

By Shalini Bhardwaj | Updated: Jun 27, 2022 19:45 IST


New Delhi [India], June 27 (ANI): Even though COVID-19 cases are surging in the country but the severity and hospitalisation is being monitored as no new variant has been reported, the Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr Sujeet Singh said on Monday.
"We are looking into the type of variant that whether we are getting particular cases of some variant like US, UK and other countries are reporting. We are also monitoring hospitalization and severity of cases to analyze whether it's due to some other variant or not," Dr Sujeet Singh told ANI.
Dr Singh also said that no new variant has not been reported yet.
"We are monitoring the cases, We haven't found any specific new variant apart from Omicron or its sublineages and recombinant variants have been reported," he added.
He also highlighted that a sentinel surveillance strategy was being followed where 396 sentinel sights across the country are sending samples for genome sequencing.
"Omicron BA.2 and its sublineages have replaced all the variants like delta and others, but sublineages are also different in transmission and severity," said Singh.
According to Dr Sujit Singh, directions have been given by the Union Health Ministry to see how a particular variant is behaving in India, which cities have been affected and whether it's indicating some severity.
"We have discussed the behaviour of particular variant in US, UK, India or South Africa, Union Health Minister has also given specific instructions to look into the cases which are hospitalised. What type of variants are being encountered in those cases which are in the hospitals," he added.
He also mentioned that surveillance was started as per the directions particularly focused in districts where the highest number of cases are reported to see which particular variant is responsible for the rise in COVID cases and what type of variants have been encountered in the hospitalization cases.
Busting the difference between infection and disease, he said, "Infection and disease are two different things, you may be infected but you may not get a symptomatic disease. So, if infected persons and asymptomatic persons are more and variant is not causing a severe disease then we may not have much concern. "
"I will not say that it's a sharp rise, we have been seeing a gradual rise for two months if we talk about day one and day 60th then definitely there is an alarming rise but yes we have to understand the epidemiology spread and severity,"he further added.
Elaborating on the spike in COVID cases in particular areas of some states.
"If we look at Maharashtra it's not the whole Maharashtra that is reporting surge in COVID cases, we have to see epidemiologically where the transmission is reporting maximum, So Mumbai circles, Pune, Palghar, and Thane are the places which are reporting continuous rise in cases. Similarly in Kerala also, although positivity is very high, there are other dimensions," he concluded.
"The surge in cases is dependent on three important parameters. First is the susceptible pool of the population, you can see that what is the immunity status, which we are having in the community. Gradually as immunity goes down you get an increased susceptible pool of population. Virus-like omicron has an increased tendency to break through your immunization. As susceptible pool increases, so do cases," he concluded. (ANI)

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