Vikash Sharma

Amid the rise in Covid-19 cases in China and South Korea, the fear of the fourth Covid wave in India looms large. Odisha Health Department’s Special Secretary, Ajit Kumar Mohanty on Tuesday said as per several models, Covid cases are likely to increase in China. However, China is yet to experience a peak in Covid-19 cases and it is expected that it could happen between January 13 and 15.

Around 7 to 10 lakh people are likely to get infected with 25,000 deaths on an average per day. Similarly as per some study, there could be a fourth Covid wave in India in the second or third week in March.

“Despite the fourth wave possibility, we hope that Covid transmission in India and Odisha will not be high as our Covid vaccination status is good,” said Mohanty.

According to Mohanty, a majority of population have also achieved herd immunity due to sub-clinical infections. “If we take into account the situation in China, the cases rose after restrictions were lifted on December 8 following public resistance. Similarly, the vaccination in China was not effective like India and the situation is assuming serious proportions as they have also not achieved herd immunity,” said Mohanty.

The senior Odisha government official further stated that it has now been observed that elderly people are getting Covid infections in Japan and China. In India and Odisha, priority was earlier given on vaccination of the vulnerable population including people with comorbidities in the past.

Due to strong political will power and meticulous planning and sincere efforts of all stakeholders, we are effective in handling the Covid-19 situation in the country and the state. Only at public and crowded places, use of mask has been promoted by the Odisha government, he said.

“At present cases are rising in other parts of the globe due to BF.7 and XXB variants. However, there is no need to panic as BF.7 is a subliange of Omicron variant. Even though it has immune escape phenomenon, those who have taken vaccine are not likely to get affected,” Mohanty added.