(TibetanReview.net, Mar21’22) – As fresh cases of Covid-19 are surging again across the globe, driven by a sharp spike in infections in east and southeast Asia as well as western Europe, India’s daily counts of new infections have dipped below 2,000, having declined steadily since they peaked at around 347,000 cases on Jan 20. The Covid taskforce of the Central Tibetan Administration earlier said Mar 18 at its 102nd weekly briefing that there had been 17 new cases among Tibetans in India and Nepal over the preceding one week.
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is still spreading at a very intense level across the globe, said epidemiologist Maria Van Kherkhove, the Covid-19 technical lead at the World Health Organisation (WHO), texting via a Twitter thread on Mar 16. And this comes as China is battling its worst Covid-19 outbreak in two years, leading to millions of people being forced into lockdown.
According to WHO data, the number of new weekly Covid-19 cases in the world had registered an 8% increase in the Mar 7-13 week. This came after a consistent fall since the end of January, noted the indiatoday.in Mar 16.
The new wave is said to be driven by the BA.2 subvariant of the coronavirus’ omicron variant, sometimes known as a “stealth” subvariant and suspected to be even more infectious. It has been found in several patients in China, noted the telegraphindia.com Jan 21.
Meanwhile India this morning reported 1,549 new cases over the past 24 hours, the lowest in nearly two years, taking the infection tally to 43,009,390, with the active cases constituting just 0.06% of it and a fatality rate standing at 1.2%, according to India’s health ministry data updated this morning and the PTI news Agency Mar 20.
Daily and weekly positivity rates were the same at 0.4%, meaning only four out of one thousand tests returned positive results.
India’s large vaccination coverage — over 84% of adults are fully vaccinated — and the large proportion of people who have had the natural infection have shielded the population from severe disease under the omicron wave, the telegraphindia.com report cited Health experts as saying.
“The deluge is over — and the fewer the daily new infections, the fewer the opportunities the virus gets to mutate,” T Jacob John, former head of clinical virology at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, has said.
“However, there is a possibility the virus may again change. Can it change so much as to escape immune responses altogether? We don’t know that. If it changes so much, it’ll be like a new species” he added.