India may see 5 lakh COVID-19 cases in February, says US health expert; calls Omicron ‘less severe’
India is expected to register about 5 lakh cases during peak which is likely to come in February, said an American health expert.
Calling Omicron less severe, Director from Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation, Washington Dr Christopher Murray said it will lead to less hospitalization and deaths compared to the Delta variant.
Experts across the world have different views about the Omicron variant with World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 appears to be a less severe disease than the Delta strain, but it does not mean it should be categorized as “mild”.
Saying that the Omicron variant is hospitalizing and killing people, just like previous ones, Dr Tedros said that the tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world.
“Hospitals are becoming overcrowded and understaffed, which further results in preventable deaths from not only COVID-19 but other diseases and injuries where patients cannot receive timely care,” he added.
India is witnessing the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and there will be an upward curve of the number of cases and then it will gradually go down.
“The severity of the disease when compared to the second wave, it is clinically less severe. So far we can see, patients recover in five-six days,” an Indian health expert told ANI.
The symptoms are just like flu such as fever and weakness, Dr Rupali Basu, MD and CEO, Woodlands Hospital, Kolkata said.
Loss of smell and taste might have in some patients, she added.
India reported 1,17,100 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the daily positivity rate in the country to 7.74 per cent, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday.
With this, the country’s COVID-19 case tally has gone up to 3,52,26,386.