ANI Photo | Variant is mild…but people should wear masks when they go out: Expert on rising COVID cases

Amid the recent spike in COVID cases across the country, Dr Arvind Kumar, chairman of the Institute of Chest Surgery, Medanta Hospital has advised people to wear masks and get a COVID test done in case of symptoms.
Notably, COVID cases are increasing across the country, including in the national capital, so experts are warning people and advising them to wear masks.
Talking to ANI, Dr Arvind said, “Now because the testing has increased, there is an increase in the cases as well. But the good thing here is that the cases which are coming up are not more serious cases which can be detected. They are recovering by staying at home”.
He said that during the second wave of COVID, there was a lack of oxygen in the country and the patients who were coming were in need of oxygen.
“But now the situation is not like this. This viral and new variant is not affecting our lungs much. Although the problem of dry cough is being seen in patients for a long time, the patients who are coming are not in need of oxygen. However, there can be a danger regarding this variant for a patient suffering from a serious illness. They need to be more careful,” he said.
However, Dr Arvind said that those already suffering from lung disease need to be very careful with this new variant and viral.
“It is necessary for them to at least come out of the house, do not go to crowded places, and if very necessary, leave the house only after wearing a mask,” he said.
He added, “XBB.1.16, right now this variant is mild. The patients suffering from it are not becoming more serious. They have very little need to go to the hospital. Most of the patients are getting cured by staying at home. But there is absolutely no need to be careless about it. Because nothing can be said when this virus will take a serious form. Along with this, there is also a good thing that at present about 95 per cent of people have hybrid immunity”.
At the same time, Dr Arvind Kumar strongly advised people to use masks.
“Whenever you are going out of the house or going to a crowded place like a hospital, wear a mask. Because it will not only save you from a viral infection but also from other diseases,” he added.

He further said that currently, he is getting most patients with viral infections in which fever, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, headache, body ache and cough are common in most of the patients
“Dry cough is being seen and these symptoms are seen in people for 5 to 6 days. But the patients who are already suffering from some serious disease or are elderly, these symptoms remain for a long time. And the same people may be at greater risk. At present, there have been cases of death of some patients, including those who were corona infected and were already suffering from some serious illness or were elderly,” he said.
Dr Arvind Kumar also advised the patients having symptoms to get a COVID test done.
“Earlier all the patients who were coming with these symptoms were not being advised to get a corona test done, but now if any patient has a fever then we are advising him to get a corona test done. So that the correct infection can be detected through its symptoms,” he said.
Talking about Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, he said that the disease directly affects the lungs, but it has not been found in Delhi as of now.
“Earlier, we had seen that through this syndrome, the patient’s lungs were being directly affected, due to which there was a complete lack of oxygen in his body and he needed to be given oxygen from outside, or a ventilator was required, but as of now, this syndrome has not been found in Delhi. The new variant that has come does not have this syndrome which directly affects the lungs. The symptoms of this variant are still the same as fever, body pain etc,” Dr Arvind further said.
Meanwhile, India on Friday, continued to report over 3,000 COVID cases for the second day in a row with 3,095 new infections in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.
The country recorded the highest one-day fresh infections in the last nearly six months.
The country had reported 3,016 cases on Thursday with a case positivity rate of 2.73 per cent which declined to 2.61 per cent today.
The weekly positivity rate jumped to 1.91 per cent today from 1.71 per cent yesterday.
As far as the testing in the country is concerned amid the rising COVID cases, 1,18,694 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

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