Is India entering the endemic stage of Covid?




Experts dismiss ‘endemicity’ theory, say we haven’t heard the last of Covid-19 virus

Tamanna Inamdar | Senior Editor

Updated Aug 26, 2021 | 17:22 IST

Mumbai: A quote from WHO scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan saying India will reach the stage of endemicity has been questioned by experts. A disease is considered endemic when it has a constant presence in a population. India’s daily infection rates have been in the 40,000/ day range since early July this year and vaccination rates have been steadily increasing, but endemicity is still some time away.

Virologist Dr Shahid Jameel says Dr Soumya’s comments have been misreported because everyone wants to believe Covid-19 is ebbing. “We haven’t heard the last of this virus, we can’t really say it is becoming endemic”, he says.

Dr Jameel explains the concept by likening it to the ageing process. “The virus is going towards endemicity is like saying every year on your birthday you are getting closer to death. Of course, you are, but you don’t know when”, he points out.

NTAGI Chief Dr NK Arora agrees. ” Endemicity occurs for those organisms where we know their behaviour. Tomorrow if a variant of interest comes up in any part of the world then there is another wave” he says.

The good news though is, no new variants of concern have been picked up in the last few weeks.


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