Covid in India: Normal activities can begin with small precautions, says health expert

Experts say cases in the country have plateaued and will soon decrease


A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 28 Jan 2022, 7:28 AM

The pandemic is now entering a stage where normal activities can begin with relatively small precautions being taken, said Dr Anurag Agrawal, director, the government-owned Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi.

“The risk to children’s mental health and development by not going to schools is far greater than their risk of having anything to do with Covid-19, Agrawal said on Thursday at an event organised by a leading publication.

Agrawal said India had high rates of vaccination and levels of immunity and low risk of severe disease or death from Omicron. People will now have to get on with their lives and opening schools would be his topmost priority.

“In the metro cities, it is getting over in many places,” pointed out Agrawal. “As a nation also, we are pretty much near the plateau and very soon we will see it (daily infection count) coming down.”

“What we look at are known cases, which depend on testing. And testing is not uniform across India. My impression is that by early February, the true peak and decline would start for the whole of India. But if you look at the (official) counts, the decline should start anytime now,” added Agrawal.


He said that the complete elimination of the virus, like those of smallpox or polio, might not happen.

“If I have to pick between the direction of smallpox or polio on one side, where there is a true endgame, and (that of) flu on the other side where there is a continuing struggle, I would pick the direction of flu. Because Covid-19 is not going to go away, it will very much stay. It will get less and less frequent, affecting only the immune-suppressed or the unhealthy, or severe high-risk people… as time passes.”

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