Covid will wane by mid-march in most states: ICMR expert

About Kerala, which continues to report a high number of Covid cases and deaths, Dr. Samiran Panda said that they are tracking the infection very well.

Published: 21st February 2022 09:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2022 09:15 AM   |  A+A-

Covid test

A health worker takes swab sample for Covid test on Sunday, Feb 13, 2022. (Photo | EPS, Parveen Negi)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The third wave of Covid-19, driven by the Omicron variant, will wane by mid-March in most states, ICMR epidemiological head Samiran Panda said on Sunday. “We did an ICMR modeling study led by my team. We constantly make projections based on mathematical modeling exercises. We are projecting that by mid-March, all the states will see infections coming down,” Panda told this newspaper. 

He added that some states would see Omicron infection going down earlier, while some states, which saw the entry of Omicron later, will take a little time. “But all the states in India will touch baseline as it was before the third wave by mid-March,” he said, adding that Omicron was found to be the most dominant strain of the Coronavirus.

About Kerala, which continues to report a high number of Covid cases and deaths, Panda said they are tracking the infection very well. “Kerala has a very robust healthcare system. Each state should track its infection epidemiology. Each state differs from the other. But yes, by mid-March, the Covid third wave will wane,” said Panda, who is Additional Director General, ICMR, and head of its Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases.

On the Deltacron variant, which has the properties of both the Delta and Omicron variants, and was earlier dismissed as a lab error, Panda said, “Recombination is a known phenomenon in an RNA virus. One must be very careful that the detection system is working fine. Sequencing and contamination of samples have to be eliminated. It should not be a shock or surprise to see that happening. However, one must be sure of laboratory contamination or sequencing techniques used for such announcements. 

“Any recombinant might not be fatal or fast-spreading. We need not panic about the detection of a recombinant. We should be looking at it scientifically from a public health perspective whether it is causing any major transmission catastrophe. But this is not the case in India. We need to be vigilant, but not panic,” he said.  


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