The Covid-19 pandemic has reached an endemic stage, which is leading to low-level transmissions and a short-lived surge in infections whenever a dominant viral strain is circulating within a community.

The endemicity is also a clear sign that people, especially immune-compromised individuals, must continue taking precautions and maintain basic respiratory etiquette like wearing masks, advise public health experts, doctors, and geneticists.

While there is a surge of Covid-19 infections across many States due to XBB 1.16 variant, geneticists and doctors here make it clear that there is no evidence of the severity of the disease and it is not causing a rise in hospitalizations.

Due to mild symptoms, including cold, cough, and fever, not many are getting themselves tested for Covid-19. Moreover, there is also a large cross-section of the population, which is asymptomatic but they are Covid positive. In case of flu-like symptoms, even if not tested, better to get isolated for two to three days till symptoms subside, doctors


“It is very clear that Covid-19 has reached the endemic stage and that’s why we are experiencing a sporadic surge of infections whenever a new variant emerges. A section of the population will always get it. The disease itself will cause mild inconvenience in the form of cold, cough, fever, etc., and it will be part of our lives,” says former Director and Distinguished Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Dr Ch Mohan Rao.

Chest diseases experts, however, advise immune-compromised individuals with chronic diseases related to kidney, heart, liver, hypertension, and diabetes to take basic precautions like wearing masks at gatherings. “Whenever there is a surge in infections, it is better for individuals with co-morbid conditions to wear a mask and avoid large gatherings. 

Basic cough etiquette must be followed by individuals who already have flu-like symptoms. There is no evidence of severity among the present variants of SARS-CoV-2,” says Superintendent, Chest Hospital, Dr Mahaboob Khan.

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