Learning to Live with Covid: “We Can Face Any Type of Covid Wave If It Comes”

By Sonal Nain, 28 Jan 2022

It’s been two years since Covid-19 first appeared, plagued us and dragged our lives on. Even though the current Omicron variant is highly transmissible, it is less severe than the preceding forms. That has prompted public health professionals to reconsider their approach to COVID-19 and learn to live with the fact that flu will always be around. With restrictions gradually being lifted in some states, experts suggest that we eventually have to learn to live with the virus. 

India has administered over 1.62 billion doses overall, including first, second and precautionary (booster) doses of the currently approved vaccines. In India, 91% of the eligible population has received at least one shot, and 67% are fully vaccinated. 

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson of Biocon, said to Mojo Story that the fact that we have vaccinated our people at such a high level had played a significant role in mutating the virus. “Constantly reacting to a new variant with a lockdown or a curfew will not prevent infection rates. We should only test symptomatic patients and stop routine covid tests.” Shaw further stated that today the virus is just like the remnants of Spanish flu and if people are vaccinated and masked up, they are as safe as anybody can be. 

Dr Devi Shetty, Chairperson of Narayana Health, provided Mojo with an update on the Omicron variant’s present status. He stated that Omicron is not the same as the Delta variation. It is more contagious and spreads quickly, but the number of persons who require hospitalization or ICU treatment is quite low. 

“Following our Delta experience, we converted about 1000 beds to accommodate as many covid patients as feasible. However, we only have 26 patients today, and most of them do not even need to be there. As a result, the bulk of Covid ICU beds are vacant,” he explained.

He emphasized that the messaging must shift and that we need to persuade people that we must return to life. “Continuously projecting the number of covid positive patients without informing people that they are not asymptomatic conveys the wrong message,” he added. 

He provided a positive message concluding that we are in a much better situation and understand how to manage covid, “Even if Delta is repeated, we will never see what happened in the second wave. We can face any type of covid wave if it comes.”