Covid-19 in India may be entering some kind of stage of endemicity with a low or moderate level of transmission going on, according to the chief scientist of the UN health agency.
The endemic stage is when a population learns to live with a virus. It is very different to the epidemic stage when the virus overwhelms a population.
"As far as India is concerned that seems to be what is happening and because of the size of India and heterogeneity of population and immunity status in different parts of the country in different pockets. It is very feasible that the situation may continue like this with ups and downs in different parts of the country, particularly where there are more susceptible populations," World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said in an interview Wednesday.
"We may be entering some kind of stage of endemicity where low-level transmission or moderate level transmission is going on but we are not seeing the kinds of exponential growth and peaks that we saw a few months ago," Swaminathan said.
During April-May this year, India witnessed a devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I hope by the end of 2022, we will be in that position that we have achieved vaccine coverage, say 70%, and then countries can get back to normal, " Swaminathan said.
"Although it is possible that children could get infected in a third wave in large numbers, it is very unlikely that they will fall seriously ill. However, it is advisable to be prepared for more infections in children," the WHO chief scientist said.