No fourth Covid wave in Telangana, says top health official
Deccan Chronicle.| Tushar Kaushik
Daily Covid cases cross the 150-mark in Telangana
A health worker conducts Covid testing. (PTI)
Hyderabad: There is no fourth wave of Covid-19 in the state, Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G. Srinivasa Rao said on Friday, even as the number of cases crossed the 150 mark on Friday.
The state had reported 100 new Covid-19 cases for three straight days before recording 155 cases on Friday. Ranga Reddy saw a huge surge from 12 to 42 cases, as per the Covid bulletin issued by the health department. The number of active cases increased to 907 from 811 the previous day.
Of the new cases, 81 were recorded in Hyderabad, a fall of 13 cases from the 94 the previous day. Medchal Malkajgiri had 11 cases and Sangareddy had eight.
Dr Rao said though there has been a surge of Covid-19 cases in both the state and the country, it was not being seen as a fourth wave. This was because only sub-variants of Omicron were in circulation, and a majority of the population was already infected with the Omicron variant, Besides, the state's vaccine coverage was over 100 per cent.
"Hospitalisations and mortality is also minimal, almost zero. In view of all this, until we get a new variant, there won't be a fourth wave. But such surges will happen until this pandemic becomes an endemic. I am expecting that to happen by the end of this year or early next year," Dr Rao said.
He said even though the BA4 and BA5 were new variants, they were only sub-variants of the Omicron variant and caused mild symptoms. About eight cases of BA4 and five cases of BA5 have been reported from the state in the past week, and their overall contribution to the caseload is just 1-2 per cent in the past one month, he said.
The DPH said the number of new Covid cases had crossed 100 in the state after a gap of 10 weeks. There has also been a surge in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and AP.
As a result, the Centre and the High Court had advised the state to increase testing. "We are conducting 10,000-14,000 tests per day. We have asked the district authorities to intensify surveillance and increase testing," the official said.
Dr Rao cautioned that seasonal diseases were expected to rise during the monsoon and the people should differentiate between regular flu and Covid.
"In regular flu, symptoms appear immediately after exposure while in case of Covid-19, it takes three to five days and their intensity will also be more. So I request people to test themselves," he said.