Home/ News / India/  India records a spike in Covid-19 cases. All you need to know

India is witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases with the country recording more than 1,000 new infections in the last two days. The recent surge, which comes after four months, has raised fears of a new wave of coronavirus infection, while health experts are speculating that XBB 1.16 variant could be behind it. However, the country has started taking precautionary measures to prevent a further increase in Covid-19 cases. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held a meeting to review the situation. 

XBB 1.16 variant likely behind recent Covid surge 

Former AIIMS director Dr. Randeep Guleria said that the new XBB.1.16 variant could be driving the recent rise. However, he emphasized there was no need for panic as long it does not cause severe illness and death. He said new variants will keep coming as the virus keeps on mutating over the time and the XBB 1.16 is sort of a 'new kid on the block'.

"... As long as they don't lead to severe illness, hospitalization and deaths, it is alright because it helps in giving some degree of immunity to the population if they have mild illness," the renowned pulmonologist said.

The symptoms of this variant include fever, sore throat, cold, headache, body aches, and fatigue. It also might impact your digestive system and respiratory system.

Ex-AIIMS director cautions about another Covid wave

Guleria emphasized that there is no need for panic as new variants of the virus will continue to emerge as it mutates over time, but as long as they don't lead to severe illness, hospitalization, and deaths, it helps in providing some degree of immunity to the population. He also cautioned about another ‘fresh Covid wave’ in the coming days.

Dr. Guleria said that there may be a surge in the number of cases, but they may be underreported as people are not getting themselves tested for flu-like symptoms.

He advised that those who test positive must report the data because that helps policymakers and the government to actually to know the number of cases and take a decision and plan a strategy.

PM Modi holds Covid review meet 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a Covid-19 review meeting on Wednesday, during which he emphasized the need for caution and vigilance as Covid cases begin to rise again. He urged the public to follow respiratory hygiene and Covid-appropriate behavior to prevent the spread of the virus.

He called for increased lab surveillance, testing of all severe acute respiratory illness cases, and a ramping up of genome sequencing to detect and control the spread of the virus.

The Prime Minister focused on the need to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the country on a regular basis and enhance testing of all severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) cases along with ramping up genome sequencing.

Covid-19 spike in India 

India logged 1,300 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the highest in 140 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday. With this, the country's cumulative Covid caseload has gone up to 4.46 crore (4,46,99, 418).

The death toll has increased to 5,30,816 with three deaths. One death each has been reported by Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The active cases have increased to 7,605 which comprises 0.02% of total infections.

The daily positivity was recorded at 1.46 percent while the weekly positivity was pegged at 1.08 percent. The national Covid-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 98.79 per cent, the ministry said.

Should we mask up again? 

Given these concerning trends, citizens are asking whether it is time to reinstate mask-wearing. While health experts are urging the public to follow Covid-appropriate behavior, a majority of people in both urban and rural areas have forgotten about wearing masks.

LocalCircles conducted a national survey of over 9,000 citizens across 302 districts in India. The results showed that only 6% of respondents believed that everyone is effectively complying with mask-wearing norms in public places and gatherings. Forty-eight percent said that no one was complying, while 39% felt that only a few were compliant.

The challenge lies in ensuring that everyone understands the importance of mask-wearing to protect themselves and others from Covid-19 and other respiratory infections.

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Updated: 23 Mar 2023, 12:49 PM IST
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