India is seeing a spike in Covid and H3N2 cases. Should you be worried?

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaMar 17, 2023 | 08:30

India is seeing a spike in Covid and H3N2 cases. Should you be worried?

After four months, India recorded more than 700 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, March 16. According to the data shared by the Union Health Ministry, there are currently 4,623 active Covid cases nationwide. The last time India saw over 700 coronavirus cases was on November 12, 2022, when the country reported 734 fresh infections.

  • According to the health ministry website, the national Covid recovery rate has been reported at 98.80%, and active cases currently make up 0.01 per cent of all infections.
Photo: Worldometer cases
  • 4,41,57,297 persons have recovered from the illness, while the case fatality rate has been reported at 1.19 per cent.
  • The rise in Covid cases comes at a time when India is already seeing a big spike in the number of H3N2 cases. According to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, India has reported nearly 600 influenza cases, with 451 classified as H3N2. 

H3N2, combined with the rising Covid cases, has once again caused a situation of panic in the masses since the symptoms of both the infections are more or less the same (Covid is more fatal).

Why is there a sudden spike in Covid cases? 

Dr Meenakashi Jain, who is the Director of Internal Medicine at Max Healthcare, Noida, spoke to dailyO about it. She says the spike in the cases is mainly due to the increased number of testing and a new variant of Covid

What is the new variant? 

Dr Jain says there has been a new variant of Covid-19, the XBB1.16, which could be behind the recent surge in coronavirus cases in India over the past few days. This variant, according to her, is a fast-spreading mutant that has been detected in various countries including China, Singapore, and the United States.

"You do not need to panic as the variant is not so fatal. The lung infection with this infection is not that dangerous.," she said.


She also said that as more people are catching H3N2, and since the symptoms are very similar, people are getting tested for Covid more than ever. 

We are asking people to test more for Covid since people are catching more colds and hence more cases are reported.  
- Dr Jain

Another reason for the spike she says is the lack of sincerity with people not taking Covid booster doses and following minimum Covid precautions. 

Covid is here to stay, every six months you will see a new kind of variant, but it won't be as dangerous. However following basic Covid protocol is necessary, people have forgotten that
- Dr Jain

Should you be worried? 

Dr Jain explains that you shouldn't be scared of the H3N2, as it is not fatal. However, taking a flu shot is every year is important, and it is made available by the WHO. 

Similarly, for Covid-19, according to Dr Jain, taking the booster dose is very important along with maintaining basic Covid safety protocols like wearing a mask and using sanitiser. 

Last updated: March 17, 2023 | 08:30
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