Covid: Does India need foreign flights ban or lockdown? Experts believe THIS

Given the rise of Covid-19 globally, there is a need to strengthen vigilance and vigilance in India, however, the current scenario in the country does not warrant restricting international flights or imposing a lockdown, experts said on Saturday.

According to health experts, a new Covid outbreak of serious cases and hospitalizations is unlikely, as Indians have the advantage of “hybrid immunity”, i.e. natural immunity due to vaccine-enhanced infection.

Speaking to PTI, Dr Randeep Guleria, former director of AIIMS said, “There is no increase in the number of Covid and India is currently in a comfortable situation. In the current situation, there is no need to restrict international flights or impose a lockdown.”

He cited an example of India’s previous flight bans, which were ineffective in stopping the transmission of the infection. Moreover, the data suggest that the Omicron BF.7 sub-variant has already been found in our country, the expert said.

Dr. Guleria was asked if the lockdown was necessary in the coming days. He replied: “Given the current situation and the good level of hybrid immunity in the population, there does not seem to be a need for a blockade.”

Dr Neeraj Gupta, Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Safdarjung Hospital said that India needs to be cautious given the rise in Covid-19 cases in China and other countries, but it is a lockdown situation. it is not necessary in the near future considering the current scenario in India.

“Covid-friendly behavior needs to be strengthened as complacency has crept in due to very low number of positive cases of Covid. We cannot be complacent looking at the global picture as the pandemic is not over yet,” he told PTI.

According to Dr. Gupta, “hybrid immunity” makes people with morbidity/mortality benefits more secure against future infections.

“India has the advantage of citizens taking voluntary actions like prevention, early diagnosis and good vaccination strategy,” he added.

PTI reports that China is now weaker because of low natural immunity, a poor vaccination strategy that prioritized young and healthy people over older and vulnerable populations, and lower vaccine effectiveness.

Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, a physician and epidemiologist, said that the experience of the past three years has shown that although travel restrictions have delayed the transmission of the virus, it no longer plays a role.

“We saw that a year ago with the Omicron variant. Obviously, travel bans no longer play a role. And secondly, India already has over 250 sub-variants of Omicron. And so the most rational approach is random sampling — without mandates and without minimal inconvenience to passengers — inbound international passengers. The aim would be to track emerging covid sub-variants,” he told PTI.

Amid cases in Japan, the United States of America, South Korea, Brazil, France and China, India has stepped up surveillance and genome sequencing of covid-positive samples.

Today, the Chinese city is exposed to the highly transmissible Omicron strain, especially BF.7, which is the main variant circulating in Beijing and is contributing to a wider rise in infections in that country.

(with PTI inputs)

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