HEALTH: Here’s why experts warn about a COVID explosion post Diwali

During COVID since march 2020 onwards, we have realised the importance of COVID appropriate behaviour – shown, depicted and announced at every post in India and abroad and We did learn the concept of proper masking, proper handwashing and sanitization, maintaining distance and this was followed universally in all busy and crowded places. But as the third wave has died out, the number of positive cases is going very low. So we are slowly moving away from all these precautionary steps which we used to take simply because the positivity of the disease has gone down drastically

For all critical purposes in our day to day working, we are not using masks except in hospital setups where we are in touch with more cases. The concept of hand hygiene is still followed, though not that vigilantly as was earlier. Now as the virus has already shown changes in its genome and therefore shifting to Omicron (the lowest in severity) with the change in atmosphere, and the change in temperature it is expected that the newer strains may show further changes and therefore their behaviour may also be different.

“Rather, there has been mention of a new mixed strain showing up in some parts of the world but the number is very insignificant. Talking about the present clinical picture, I think we are finding more cases of viral infections not specifically COVID. So non – COVID or influenza viruses, have also multiplied because of 3 – 4 days of insistent range therefore increasing the humidity and bringing down the temperature, thus favouring the growth of viral particles. This will of course indirectly also lead to water stagnation and resulting in more mosquito growth with dengue being the number one cause of fever in our country,” says Dr. Rajiv Dang, Senior Director and HOD – Internal Medicine and Medical Director, Max Hospital, Gurugram

With the onset of Diwali and festivities with the hustle and bustle in parties and on the streets has gone up, the social distancing took a back seat, so did the concept of masking. So the chance of any disease getting transmitted from one person in the group to others is going to rise.This increase could be in viral, COVID, bacterial or any kind of Airborne infections. Talking specifically about COVID, since the crowd in the streets has been massive already over the last 2-3 weeks with a very favourable temperature for viral growth, We have not encountered an increase in the percentage of positive cases of COVID.

Dr Dang says, “This could be because of a number of reasons and the first and foremost being the herd immunity, second either to a vast population which has already got infected or a huge number of public that has been vaccinated upto the third dose. Let’s not forget that there are a number of people who are international travellers, they have even taken the fourth dose.”

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