Rising COVID-19 cases: Experts warn of fourth wave

By Mahima Devkota

Kathmandu, July 18: Experts have viewed the increasing number of COVID-19 cases at an alarming rate as an indication of the fourth wave in the country.

They have appealed to one and all to be extra cautious in adhering to the health safety standards to contain the spread of the virus.

Dr. Samir Kumar Adhikari, a joint spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), said that when COVID-19 cases rise and become stable for over a long time and rise exponentially then it signals the next wave in the country.

He said, “B.A.5 cases are expected to rise in the next few weeks. People do not get sick and it is not as deadly as the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus in the second wave, but it is the most contagious of all, therefore, can spread at an alarming rate. Elderlies, children, and people with chronic conditions will be affected by it. ”

The data from the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) about the cases of COVID-19 showed that COVID-19 cases have risen from a single digit to more than 400 on daily basis within a month.

Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun, chief of the Clinical Research Unit at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku, said that B.A.5 is an ultrafast virus as B.A.5 virus is the most contagious of the entire virus witnessed. “The current situation of the country proves that the new B.A5 a variant is responsible for rising cases in the country. If the cases continue to rise at this rate, it means the country is facing a new wave.”

Even though the new variant is less deadly, having a prior infection with another Omicron sub-variant does not absolutely give protection against infection from the new variant.

Having a prior infection with another Omicron sub-variant does provide some immunity against BA.4 and BA.5 but it’s not absolute. Having COVID more than once can increase risk, he said.

With increasing cases of COVID-19, symptoms like flu have also been observed. Therefore, many people do not do PCR testing. This in turn will reduce the number of infected in the official statements; however, actual infected would be more than listed.

Dr. Niraj Bam, Associate Professor at the Institute of Medicine, said that it is common to be confused with symptoms of COVID with flue; however, it is better to take precautions. So, if you have symptoms, it is better to isolate yourself from others to contain its spread.

Both the people and authorities have become negligent in strictly following the health safety standards after the decrease in COVID-19 cases this January. There is negligence in wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and hand washing, which has risked the spread of the contagion.

– TRN Online

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