New Delhi, Oct 30 2022
With hospitalisation and number of deaths due to COVID-19 remaining miniscule for the past few months despite people largely not adhering to behavioural norms, experts feel the prevalence of the viral disease has reached its endemic stage.
According to some experts, there is not much difference in the number of seasonal flu cases and that of COVID-19, even though they stressed that surveillance for newer variants should continue in the off chance of a new lineage of coronavirus catching the country off guard.
Currently, the symptoms of Covid and influenza are very similar and can be said to be a flu-like syndrome and the treatment essentially remains supportive, former AIIMS director and a professor of pulmonology at the hospital, Dr Randeep Guleria said. Though cases especially in the high risk group may have relatively been more severe, currently the mortality is negligible and similar to what was being seen in this group before Covid, Dr Guleria told PTI.
“Looking at the current number of cases we can say Covid has almost reached the endemic phase. The number of cases coming to the hospital are almost equal or less than seasonal flu cases. Having got familiar with the aspects of the disease, people also have become complacent with the realisation that this particular Covid condition will now remain mild and not really lead to serious ICU care etc,” Dr Neeraj Gupta, a senior pulmonologist and additional medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, told PTI. Dr Gupta, however, stressed that vulnerable people such as the elderly and those having co-morbidities will still require similar precautions as is needed for other infections such as influenza and pneumonia.