Amid the concerns over the rising COVID cases in the country, a senior health expert on Thursday urged the people to readopt to COVID-appropriate behaviour and fight the battle this time the same way it was fought during the earlier waves.
Stating that the government has already sounded the bugle regarding the rise in COVID cases, the expert stressed that there is no need for a lockdown as of now.
The remarks came in the backdrop of the rising COVID cases in the country, regarding which Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting on Wednesday, and Union Health Secretary today. India reported 1,300 new COVID cases today, the highest in 140 days.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Naresh Trehan, Director of Medanta Hospital Gurugram, said that the world is not yet free from COVID and there is a need to get back to precautionary measures from the disease.
"It seemed in the last two-three months that COVID is about to finish. Not too many cases were reported. Many people suffered from the flu. Bad throat and fever were the same symptoms similar to those of Omicron. The world is yet not free from COVID. This was our speculation that this won't finish so soon as it will keep returning in the form of flu. Its spreadability is big," Dr Trehan said.
He said that people should restart using masks while stepping outside their homes and remain cautious regarding the spread of the virus.
"Persons were comorbidities may have more problems. Earlier we thought that we may stop using masks. But the latest data that has come suggests that we should not stop using masks. So we should be cautious because if it spreads again, we will have to pay a huge price. The Prime Minister and Union Health Secretary also took a review meeting. The spread of viruses from one state to another is very easy today due to the amount of travel," he said.
"The public should immediately adhere to COVID-appropriate behaviour, especially when you are going to a crowded place. Isolation is the next step, if somebody has a cough or something, he should isolate himself. They should conduct a test. People should avoid going to crowded places until necessary. If it is very necessary, wear N95 masks and then go. The government has sounded the bugle that COVID is rising," the expert added.
He said that Medanta Hospital presently is admitting infected patients with comorbidities and one such patient was recently admitted.
"The way we fought this battle earlier, we have to fight it the same way. There is no need for a lockdown now. It is the responsibility of everyone to get back to COVID-appropriate behaviour. Currently, we are advising those patients with normal fever and symptoms to quarantine themselves at home, but we are admitting those with comorbidities. One such patient was recently admitted," he said.
The Medanta Director said that the international travellers who come to India mostly land in Delhi or in Mumbai and therefore the virus had spread via the two cities in the earlier waves.
"There were less number of cases in Delhi earlier. The rise in cases has just begun. Either we did not know, or the testing has been increased now. Delhi has become a big hub for international travellers also. People mostly land here or in Mumbai. Earlier also, the virus had spread via Delhi and Mumbai," he said.
"It would benefit the country if we control the spread today. The people should cooperate and be cautious. We would request the people to protect themselves and their families," Dr Trehan added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to assess in terms of preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics, the status of the vaccination campaign, stated an official release.
A comprehensive presentation was made covering the global Covid-19 situation including the rising cases in India by the Secretary, of Health, MoHFW.
"The action taken on the directions given by Prime Minister during the last Covid-19 review held on December 22, 2022, was also briefed. He was informed that the availability and prices of 20 main Covid Drugs, 12 other drugs, 8 buffer drugs, and 1 influenza drug are being monitored," it read.
The Prime Minister was apprised of the influenza situation in the country, particularly with respect to a higher number of cases of H1N1 and H3N2 being noted in the last few months.
PM Modi directed officials to enhance the Whole Genome Sequencing of Positive Samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories.
"This will support tracking of newer variants if any, and timely response," said PM Modi. (ANI)