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March 20, 2023 6:20 pm

Covid XBB.1.5 variant not virulent in India as 90 % of population vaccinated: Doctor

New Delhi, January 2

Giving marginal respite amid a spurt of Covid cases in countries like China, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea, Dr M Wali, Physician in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, on Sunday said that the new Covid variant of XBB.1.5 is not virulent in India as 90 percent of the eligible population has been vaccinated.

“These new variants including XXB.1.5 are not more virulent in India as our 90 percent eligible population are vaccinated and 30-40 percent have administered booster doses,” he said.

Taking note of three Covid-infected international passengers who flew down to Gujarat from Australia and China, Dr Wali said, “Three international passengers including passengers coming from Australia and China. found positive. In Rajkot, a woman and her fiancee have been found infected. Both were coming from abroad with their two-year-old daughter.”

Rightly stressing immunities’ importance to fight against the virus, Dr M Wali said, “A booster dose, good immunity, first infection, vaccination, altogether minuscules the virulence of the virus. Persons infected with these viruses, do not need to be admitted to a hospital, they just need to be isolated and their samples should be sent for genome sequencing.”

Citing review meetings conducted by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and PM Modi’s 4Ts of Test, Track Treat, and Teeka, Dr Wali said, “Be cautious, don’t step outside unnecessarily, keep your elder and children isolated. Follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and most importantly mask up.”

Earlier this month, Union Health Ministry made RT-PCR reports mandatory for all international passengers travelling from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand to India before departure and upload a report on the Air Suvidha portal from January 1, 2023.

This was in addition to the random 2 per cent tests of all international passengers on their arrival in India irrespective of the port of departure.It was said that the test should have been conducted within 72 hours of undertaking the journey to India.

The decision was taken in view of the evolving COVID-19 situation worldwide, particularly in the aforesaid countries.


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