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Business News/ News / India/  As India records cases of covid BF.7 variant, should you be worried? What Dr Randeep Guleria said
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As India records cases of covid BF.7 variant, should you be worried? What Dr Randeep Guleria said

Viral infections rise in winter and better care needs to be taken. It is important for people, especially high-risk groups, to protect themselves and take Covid-19 booster dose, said Ex AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria

covid BF.7 variant in India: The symptoms are very similar fever, cold, sore throat, runny nose blocked nose, cough and body aches. (PTI)Premium
covid BF.7 variant in India: The symptoms are very similar fever, cold, sore throat, runny nose blocked nose, cough and body aches. (PTI)

With the recent spike in Covid cases in China and other countries, health experts across the nation urged people to follow the covid protocols. Though they have assured India is safe as of now, people have to be cautious, experts reminded.

Viral infections rise in winter and better care needs to be taken. It is important for people, especially high-risk groups, to protect themselves and take Covid-19 booster dose, said Ex AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria.

The Medanta Hospital recently announced the appointment of Dr Randeep Guleria as Chairman - Institute of Internal Medicine and Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, and Director - Medical Education.

In an YouTube video shared by Medanta Gurugram, Dr. Randeep Guleria has given a detailed explanation on new COVID variant BF.7.

On BF.7, as a variant of concern

BF.7 is a variant of concern. “We say that a variant is a variant of concern, if it is actually causing four things one is, it is causing more infection. Secondly, it is having an immune escape mechanism that is those who already had COVID on the vaccine are still getting infection. Third is it is causing more hospitalization or deaths? And fourthly, if it has the ability to not escape the current available testing mechanisms," said Dr Guleria.

BF.7 is more infectious

Dr. Randeep Guleria said that BF.7 is more infectious, it spreads more rapidly than the previous variant. And secondly, it has the phenomenon of immune escape. That is, even if you had the vaccine, or had COVID. In the past, you can still get infected with the BF.7. So it is definitely a variant of concern.

Difference in India and China

India has a good vaccination coverage especially the first and second dose. Many of us are also a large part of a population has got natural infection and therefore we have good immunity. And therefore although we will get infection with this new variant, it is not going to be very severe, he said.

Currently, we are in a good situation, but we need to be very vigilant and keep a close watch because we know the virus can mutate and things can change quickly, Guleria added.

Vaccines efficacy against BF.7 covid variant

According to Guleria, there is data which suggests that the booster does help. It does give you protection against severe disease, even against the new circulating variants. Because remember, they're all originating from the Omicron period and we have data that these vaccines do work against the Omicron.

But it will not prevent you totally against getting the infection and that is important for us to understand, he added

He also urged everyone who has not taken the booster to come forward and take the booster dose

“Therefore, if you have not taken us short, please come forward and take the booster shot. It will protect you against severe disease and it can be life saving," Guleria said.

Symptoms of BF.7 covid variant

The symptoms are very similar fever, cold, sore throat, runny nose blocked nose, cough and body aches.

Regarding the new variant that is creating havoc in China, Guleri said, “We don't know for sure how much is this new variant in our country or is there any other circulating variant as far as India is concerned."

According to the Health Ministry, 196 new cases of Covid-19 infection were recorded in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday.

The IMA informed that Mandaviya will hold the meeting via video conferencing at 4 pm regarding the Covid-19 situation and preparedness.

On Saturday, Mandaviya said that the government has been working to control the spread of Covid-19 and urged the people to wear masks and follow covid appropriate behaviour.

 

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Updated: 26 Dec 2022, 12:17 PM IST
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