Watch out for Covid in upcoming summer months, experts say
The best way to avoid a spike again in the summer would be to use masks outdoors as well as indoors in spaces such as offices, schools, colleges etc
Mumbai Although there has been a gradual decline in Covid cases, medical experts say that people should watch out for the upcoming summer months of April and May.
The caution is triggered by the trends observed during the first and second waves of Covid in Mumbai.
“Humidity remains high in summer and it has been observed that the virus thrives when humidity increases,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the Covid-19 task force. “The trends are varied. For instance, India has seen spring and summer peaks, whereas the west has seen winter peaks. But going by our trends, we should definitely be cautious about the coming months,” Joshi further added.
He said that the best way to avoid a spike again would be to use masks outdoors as well as indoors in spaces such as offices, schools, colleges etc. “In addition to this, we should continue to vaccinate and give booster doses to as many people as possible,” he said.
The introduction of the vaccine has been a game changer. “The exposure and resistance during the first and second waves were very different from the third wave when a considerable number of the citizens were already inoculated,” said Dr Vimal Pahuja, an internist and metabolic physician, Hiranandani Hospital.
Pahuja said that the city’s transition from low temperature to excessive heat will push cases of cold, cough and flu, which have very similar symptoms of Covid. “People should therefore follow isolation norms, take symptomatic treatment and get tested as per the advice of doctors,” he said.
On Thursday, Mumbai experienced the hottest day this year with the temperature rising to 37.1 degrees.
Intensive care consultant and member of the Covid task force, Dr Rahul Pandit said that the summer months are definitely to watch out for. “Heat and high humidity seem to be a conducive environment for SARS-CoV-2 in India, even as we have seen that cold temperatures are also conducive for the virus,” said Pandit.
He emphasised on bringing back the practice of ‘tracking’ to curb any possible future surge. “The civic body has implemented the testing and tracking method since the first wave. But as cases increased enormously, tracking was not always possible. Now that the daily cases are very low, the aggressive tracking exercise should be brought back,” said Pandit, adding that tracking will help arrest a possible spurt in time.