Here’s why experts believe Omicron may turn pandemic into endemic by 2024

New Delhi: Some health experts believe that Omicron may turn COVID-19 from a pandemic to an endemic disease by 2024. It can happen when people around the world gain enough immunity.

Usually, when viruses become high transmissible but less severe, it is turning from pandemic to endemic disease. COVID-19 too is showing a similar indication. Omicron is high transmissible, however, it is reportedly less severe when compared to the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Telangana Today has quoted the Former Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Dr. Ch Mohan Rao saying Omicron may even turn COVID-19 into a seasonal disease. Initial data indicates that Omicron wave will not be as severe as the second wave in India and patients are unlikely to rely much on medical oxygen, he added.

What Pfizer believes?

Global President of Pfizer Vaccines Nanette Cocero has claimed that the COVID-19 is likely to become endemic by 2024, Anadolu Agency reported.

Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten has said that COVID-19 will turn into an endemic disease for some regions whereas, it will remain pandemic for others.

Difference between pandemic and endemic

If a disease spreads rapidly across continents or worldwide, it is termed a pandemic whereas endemic is a term used to describe a disease that is restricted to a certain place or area.

The infection must be constantly maintained at a baseline level in order to be termed endemic. Some of the examples of endemic are malaria, chickenpox.

The pandemics which outbroke recently are tuberculosis, Russian flu, Spanish flu, Asian flu, cholera, Hong Kong flu, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19.

Omicron cases in Telangana

So far, Telangana reported 20 cases of Omicron. Out of them, 12 were reported on Saturday. Ten of the new cases were reported among passengers who returned from other than ‘at risk’ countries.

Health authorities at Hyderabad Airport are conducting RT-PCR tests on 2 percent of the passengers coming from other than ‘at risk’ countries.

As per the Centre’s guidelines, they are being allowed to go home even if they test Covid positive. However, their samples are being sent for genome sequencing. If they test Omicron positive, the authorities are tracing them on the basis of the address provided by them on arrival at the airport.