Covid in India entering endemic stage : WHO’s Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan

New Delhi – Covid in India may be entering an endemic stage. At this stage, the low or moderate stage of transmission of the virus goes on. This stage occurs when a population learns to live with a virus. It’s very different from the stage of the epidemic when the virus overwhelms a population, said Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Soumya Swaminathan in an interview.

Dr Swaminathan said that given the size of India and heterogeneity of population and immunity status in different parts of the country, it is “very very feasible” that the situation may continue like this with ups and downs in various parts of the nation. Those groups who were perhaps less affected by first and second waves or those areas with low levels of vaccine coverage we could see peaks and troughs for the next several months”.

On the prevalence of Covid among children, she said that we can take from the sero survey and what we learnt from other countries that it is possible that children could get infected and transmit. However, children luckily have very mild illnesses. Most of the time, there is a small percentage that gets sick and gets inflammatory complications. Few will die but the number of deaths will be much lesser than the adult population. But it is good to prepare. Preparing hospitals for paediatric admissions, paediatric intensive care is going to serve our health system in many ways.  But we should not panic about thousands of children crowding into ICUs.