30 January 2022
“Despite the high contagiousness of Covid-19 virus and its variants like Omicron, the third wave will not be as devastating as the first and the second wave which witnessed high fatality rate as the most of the people has already acquired immunity through either natural infection or vaccination. But, there is no place of complacency as the severity of the infection can be more among aged, co-morbid and unvaccinated people”, said Renowned pulmonologist Dr SK Gupta, Senior Consultant, Paras Hospital.
He added, “In the beginning of second wave, the hospitals saw huge influx of infected patients with many requiring hospitalization. The ICU and the covid-dedicated wards were occupied in full capacity. The family members were pleading for beds and life saving medicines. Though the preliminary findings in South Africa revealed that the virus is more infectious than the Delta strain, the hospitalisation is in control, so far.”
Even though the vaccine does not provide absolute protection against the virus, but it definitely protects against severe disease and hospitalization. Even the latest sero-survey showed high prevalence of antibodies among the population.
There is a possibility that virus will escape initial immunity posed by vaccine, the doctor said, adding that even then, the vaccine will continue to retain efficacy because the cell mediated immunity by sensitized T cell, which provides protection against virus.
But, we need to have a clear picture about the infection spread and severity and it will take at least few more weeks to come to the conclusion. The current evidence suggested that the Omicron infection is mostly mild.
The doctor also said that people must wear masks, wash hands, avoiding unnecessary gatherings, and get vaccinated. The central government and UT Administration are more sensitized as they have already hiked testing, isolation of cases, making containment zones, besides putting travel guidelines in place.