COVID-19: China-like BF.7 wave unlikely; PM Modi emphasizes following protocols
Amid the reported spurt of cases in neighboring China, the government has been issuing COVID-19 alerts and urging people to stay cautious. PM Narendra Modi has appealed to people to follow protocols, especially during their Christmas-New Year vacations. However, the Omicron variant BF.7—which is reportedly driving China's surge—is unlikely to bring about a similar wave of infections in India, say experts citing herd immunity.
Why does this story matter?
- China is reportedly experiencing a fresh spike in coronavirus cases after relaxing restrictions under its "zero-COVID-19" policy following widespread protests against the strict lockdown of over three months.
- A similar increase in Brazil, Japan, South Korea, and the US brought the Centre on its toes.
- Moreover, a China returnee has tested positive in Agra, and four cases of BF.7 were detected in India earlier.
Post-Delta wave vaccinations developed herd immunity: CCMB official
Meanwhile, reports quoted Vinay K Nandicoori, Director of CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), as saying the primary variant—Omicron—triggering China's spike in infections isn't a novelty in India. He said India's population developed herd immunity because of being exposed to other viruses. Nandicoori added the BF.7 infection isn't as severe as the Delta wave, which saw subsequent vaccination drives helping build herd immunity.
Himachal to monitor tourist influx using drones
On the other hand, in view of the heavy tourist footfall for Christmas and New Year vacations, Himachal Pradesh is set to keep an eye on tourist influx using drones. Separately, the Uttar Pradesh government presented Rs. 10L each to the families of 53 journalists who died of COVID-19. In July 2021, families of another 50 journalists received assistance of Rs. 10L each.
Chhattisgarh detects one new case, Maharashtra 10
Chhattisgarh reported a fresh COVID-19 case in Raipur on Sunday, taking the tally of total active cases to eight. As per government figures, 14,146 people lost their lives to coronavirus in the state so far. Mumbai saw nine new cases on Sunday, pushing the city's total active cases to 50, while the rest of Maharashtra detected 32 cases, raising the active tally to 148.
China stops publishing daily COVID-19 data
Meanwhile, China's National Health Commission (NHC) on Sunday reportedly stopped publishing the daily COVID-19 data without stating any reason, raising doubts about its government's transparency. It said the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would publish COVID-19 information but didn't specify its frequency.