No unusual surge in Covid cases : Director SKIMS

Srinagar: Director of Kashmir’s territory care Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Srinagar on Sunday said that Jammu and Kashmir is not experiencing an unusual surge in Covid cases but advised people to be alert and cautious.
In a series of tweets on Sunday he said that he is receiving many calls for the COVID alerts. “Please note that J&K and India as a whole are not experiencing an unusual surge as yet. However since it is winter, the time for circulation of respiratory pathogens in Kashmir, it is in one’s interest to be alert and cautious”.
“But kindly do not panic. The situation in China is different. They resorted to strict lockdowns which resulted in lower exposure to the virus and a lower immunity by natural infection, he said,” and added
“Also the vaccine used predominantly in China is the inactivated Sinopharm/Sinovac vaccine which is inferior in evoking a robust immune response as compared to the adenovirus vectored vaccine used predominantly in India.”
“And we do not know the percentage immunized among those vulnerable to severe illness (like the old or those with comorbidities) in China, specifically about booster doses. Possibly they opened abruptly without adequate immunization of the vulnerable”, he said in another tweet.
“The variant(s) of Omicron circulating there has(ve) a high transmissibility. These BF.7 and XBB have been reported from India for a while but haven’t caused any outbreaks so far. For any variant to survive it has to demonstrate some immune escape,” he further said and emphasized the need for genomic surveillance to stay on the lookout for emerging variants. “This is the reason for the advisory from MOHFW. India has a clear advantage of higher vaccinations and more natural infections during the Omicron surge.”
He said “currently there is no surge in India or particularly in Kashmir. Hence no need to panic. CAB will help. Masks would help in settings with potential for spread of any virus, like crowded settings etc.”
“Those who were advised the precautionary dose and did not receive it yet, would be helped by boosting their immunity. International travel to countries with high COVID activity must be undertaken with caution and only if absolutely necessary,” he advised.
“Modelling data from credible agencies (like from University of Washington) predict a low circulation of the virus for coming weeks in JK, but models can go horribly wrong, he cautioned.
“So stay calm, observe routine precautions and vaccinate if you haven’t, as per the advisories. NO PANIC PLEASE. Safety saves. Better safe than sorry”, Dr Koul advises.
UNI

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