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Covid-19 surge in US, Europe and China triggering fourth wave fears, should India worry?

Though the Covid-19 situation in India remains fully under control, with a sharp decline in new and active cases, experts have been sounding an alarm about the fourth wave hitting India around mid-June.

Covid-19 surge in US, Europe and China triggering fourth wave fears, should India worry?

NEW DELHI: A large part of Europe, the UK, the United States, China and Hong Kong have been witnessing a sharp rise in new cases of Covid-19 infections, triggering concerns about a possible fourth wave hitting India sooner or later.

Though the Covid-19 situation in India remains fully under control, with a sharp decline in new and active cases, experts have been sounding an alarm about the fourth wave hitting India around mid-June.

With more than 40 million confirmed cases, India is next only to the US which has the world's highest Covid-19 caseload. If top global health experts are to be believed, the Omicron sub-variant is behind the recent surge in the new Covid cases around the world.

Omicron, which carries more than 50 genetic mutations, is being blamed for the fresh wave of infections across the globe.

Covid surges across the globe

In several nations like the UK, China, the US, parts of Europe, the new Covid cases have more than doubled in the recent past. The situation is worst in China, which has announced travel bans and lockdown in more than 20 provinces and cities.

According to Chinese health authorities, the "stealth Omicron" is being largely blamed for a steep surge in new cases in China, which is also testing Beijing's zero-tolerance strategy. In Europe, Germany has witnessed 198,888 new infections on Tuesday, 42,000 higher than a week ago, according to a Reuters report.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy are among other countries seeing an uptick in new cases in the past week.

Where does India stand?

If health experts are to be believed, the fresh surge may not impact India, thanks to the strong immunity gained during the second wave. Though experts have been warning that the Covid threat has not fully gone and there's no need to lower the guard.

They have pressed for continuous monitoring of local level epidemiology, continuous genomic sequencing to identify any new variants of interest and concerns.

On 21 March, India recorded 1,410 new cases, down from a surge peak of 347,000 cases on 21 January. On the other hand, India has so far administered more than 1.8 billion doses of the Covid vaccine, fully vaccinating 80% of its adults. Some 94% have received the first dose.

In view of the massive vaccination programme, the authorities in several states have now lifted restrictions as part of measures to bring normal life and businesses on track again.

Another reason why India looks confident is the fact that a majority of Indians have acquired protective immunity to the virus by contracting the infection or by getting the vaccine.

However, some recent studies indicate that immunity wanes over time. Experts are now suggesting three doses of a vaccine or boosters to help protect people from severe disease and possible deaths.

This is why the central government has now started administering booster doses to its already vaccinated citizens and has so far administered more than 20 million vaccine doses to the targeted age groups - elderly citizens, health care workers etc.

India on Thursday reported 1,938 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours. With this, India's total tally of cases has risen to 4,30,14,687, according to Union health ministry data updated on March 24, 2022. 

India’s death toll has climbed to 5,16,672 with 67 daily fatalities and the active cases further declined to 22,427 in the country. 

(With Agency Inputs)

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