India’s COVID pandemic will gradually slide into an epidemic stage, said a senior epidemiologist at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Speaking to ANI, Dr Sanjay Rai asserted that on observing the rate of vaccination and natural infection, it can be predicted that "a majority of us will be getting infected."
Citing medical studies, Dr Rai remarked that people who have contracted the virus are "most-protected," Republic World reported.
"Looking at the COVID-19 vaccination status and the natural infection, we can say that very soon, the majority of us will be getting an infection. And then this virus will convert into an endemic virus," Senior epidemiologist at AIIMS, Dr. Sanjay Rai, was quoted as saying by ANI.
An endemic is a stage where cases are clustered to a particular geographical location and the infections are present throughout but in significantly diminished numbers.
Explaining the propensity of the virus, Dr Rai also noted that SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as COVID-19, is an RNA virus, i.e. it has ribonucleic acid as its genetic material and has "mutated thousands of times." However, "the variants of concern are only five - alpha, beta, gamma, delta and current Omicron, which is a very fast transmitting disease. So very fast transmission is taking place all over the world," the senior AIIMS epidemiologist stated.
The highly-transmissible Omicron variant has mostly impacted metropolitan areas like Delhi, Mumbai due to the density of population. In rural areas and the eastern part of India, the progression of the virus is notably slow, the epidemiologist pointed out.