COVID ebbs, doctors say stay alert
Deccan Chronicle.| Aarti Kashyap
The World Health Organisation declared an end to Covid-19, which claimed 69 lakh lives over three years, as a global health emergency. (Representational image: PTI)
Hyderabad: The World Health Organisation declared an end to Covid-19, which claimed 69 lakh lives over three years, as a global health emergency. India has reported 4,49,52,996 cases and 5,31,564 deaths.
City doctors welcomed the declaration by the WHO and said it was time to look back and learn from the past experience.
Dr Ranga Reddy Burri, president of Infection Control Academy of India and public health policy advisor, speaking to Deccan Chronicle, said, "One thing which we have to bear in mind that the health emergency has to come to an end, but Covid-19 will remain a complex public health issue, where we will see sporadic outbreaks."
Dr Burri said a few good things had taken place due to the pandemic and these needed to be strengthening: surveillance, genome sequencing and the healthcare systems.
"We have very painfully learned the lacunae in our health access, health equity and health infrastructure, which are serious impediments in dealing with public health emergencies and we need to need to build robust global and local health systems in order to prepare for the next pandemic with better health accesses, equity and infrastructure," Dr Burri said.
Hand hygiene needs to continue and we should not become complacent about the virus as it will continue to inhabit us, doctors said.
Dr Monalisa Sahu, consultant infectious diseases, said, "In the endemic phase, the disease behaves differently from place to place, depending upon the strain of the virus circulating there, unlike the pandemic stage where almost all continents are affected by the same disease strain over almost the same period of time."
Dr Sahu said Covid-19 has almost reached the endemic phase and the same strain of virus is now not expected to be circulating across different continents and is likely to be confined to particular geographical locations.
Dr Rajendra Prasad, professor of medicine at Osmania General Hospital, said, "The mutations and variations of the virus will keep coming but will see the virus as a seasonal flu in the future times, and not in the form of waves which we experienced earlier. We need to follow the precautions and a few groups of people like the elderly and those with co-morbid conditions will need to take periodic Covid vaccines."