In the next six months COVID-19 will start becoming endemic in India, a top expert has said, asserting that a new variant can't alone bring a third wave of infections. In an interview with NDTV, Sujeet Singh, the Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) told, "this pandemic has defied most of our predictions but in the next six months, we will approach endemic status."
Further he said, "If the mortality and morbidity is under control, then we can manage the disease." Citing Kerala situation, he said, it is also emerging from the raging Covid crisis the state was battling a few weeks ago.
Dr Singh said Covid becoming endemic would mean the infection becoming more manageable and easier on the health infrastructure.
He also stressed that vaccination is the biggest protection against the coronavirus.
"75 crore people have been vaccinated. If vaccine effectiveness is 70 percent, then around 50 crore people in India have got immunity. A single dose gives 30-31% immunity. So the 30 crore people, who have received a single dose, are also immunised," he said.
He explained that the breakthrough infections are also because of the new variants. "Scientists say within 70 to 100 days of vaccination the immunity level starts dropping," he added.
According to the NCDC chief, there is no new variant in India. The C1.2 and Mu strains that are currently raising concern have not been found in the country.
Concluding, Dr Singh, he said, "Just a new variant cannot cause a third wave. The factor will be a mix of behaviour and antibodies. There is some worry because of the festival season."
Meanwhile, daily new cases of coronavirus in India continued to remained below 30,000 with the country recording 27,176 fresh COVID-19 cases, while 284 new fatalities were recorded, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
With the fresh cases, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,33,16,755, while the death toll has climbed to 4,43,497, according to the data updated at 8 am.