India might be entering the endemic stage of COVID, warned World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan.
According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an endemic is the “constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infectious agent in a population within a geographic area”.
“We may be entering some kind of stage of endemicity where there is low level transmission or moderate level transmission going on but we are not seeing the kinds of exponential growth and peaks that we saw a few months ago,” Swaminathan said.
The scientist said that because of the diverse population and immunity status in various parts of India, it was quite likely that the situation might continue like this with “ups and downs in different parts of the country”.
Swaminathan added that this might particularly happen in places where the population is more susceptible. “So those groups who were perhaps less affected by first and second waves or those areas with low levels of vaccine coverage could see peaks and troughs for the next several months,” she further said.
The WHO expert added that it was impossible to predict when the third wave of infections would hit India but could make an “informed guess” based on variables that affect transmission.
India registered 25,467 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, pushing the tally of infections to 3,24,74,773 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020.