Deccan Chronicle

Apollo president sounds alarm over Omicron surge


Dismissing Covid-19 infections being caused by the Omicron variant of the Coronaviru­s as mild is a dangerous attitude to take, as it could well lead to long Covid burden among people, president of Apollo Hospitals, Dr. K. Hari Prasad has warned.

Some attempts to create an impression that Omicron caused Covid-19 will be mild, and there was no need for any panic on that count, are worrisome, he said, and added that neglecting even the mildest of symptoms and not getting tested could result in a situation where the healthcare infrastruc­ture could be put under tremendous stress.

Warning against any complacenc­y with respect to dealing with Covid, Dr. Hari Prasad said that even if just one per cent of Covid-19 patients who catch the Omicron variant

require hospitaliz­ation, then the healthcare infrastruc­ture could face the same “terrible situation that we faced during the second wave of Covid.”

He said that the Omicron variant was much more contagious than the previous variants and a single infected patient can potentiall­y infect many more than the previous variants.

“Since most Omicron infected patients are likely to be asymptomat­ic, they could infect those who are vulnerable, and for themselves, face prospects of disease burden arising from long Covid,” he told Deccan Chronicle.

He said everyone with any possible symptoms must get tested, as unless this is done, it will be impossible to know which variant a person is infected with.

“All of us are aware that Delta variant is more dangerous and we have had a terrible experience during the second wave. Is it right for someone who is symptomati­c not to get tested and neglect a possible Delta infection?” he asked. It is important that everyone recognizes that the pandemic has not gone anywhere, and that it has potential for huge surges. While the government is playing its role, individual­s have a bigger role, and must follow all safety precaution­s including wearing masks properly, avoid crowds and crowding, and seek medical help at the first sign of any symptoms, he said.

 ?? ?? Dr K. Hari Prasad
Dr K. Hari Prasad

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