COVID-19 in endemic stage, still need to monitor viral load, new variant: Top expert, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: Coronavirus is in the endemic stage but the viral load and emergence of any new variant still need to be monitored, Dr Rakesh Mishra, director of Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) has said.

COVID-19 in endemic stage, still need to monitor viral load, new variant: Top expertwas more significant than the third wave and would have had a big problem. However, it did not happen because of vaccination, or hybrid immunity. Clinically, the virus is more infectious, but clinically less harmful as it affects the body like the common cold.”

Dr Mishra said that wastewater surveillance was done in Bengaluru which showed that there was already a wave but due to vaccination and hybrid immunity, the virus was clinically less harmful.

“Wastewater brings samples from all households as body fluids and excreted products end up in sewage plants. It looks like from Bengaluru wastewater data that this year’s COVID-19 wave was bigger than the largest COVID-19 wave of January 2022. We got samples from 28 Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) covering the entire area in Bengaluru and we analysed them separately to monitor viral load. At the STP level we can predict the viral load,” Dr Mishra said.

He further said that although the virus is not going to be a major issue, still it needs to be monitored.

“Like any common thing, we are now used to this virus and that’s why the hospital load didn’t increase. It is clear from this surveillance that this wave is now over. We haven’t modelled anything that will happen. This virus is not going to be a major health issue. We still need to keep a watch on the COVID-19 virus through genome sequencing to monitor viral load and any new variant,” he said.

Meanwhile, India has seen a dip in daily infections. The country registered 1,839 fresh infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that the COVID-19 pandemic is over as a global health emergency.

  • Published On May 9, 2023 at 10:15 AM IST

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