The Covid pandemic is far from over as daily numbers are still high in many countries, without their epidemic waves declining to low and steady figures that represent endemic prevalence. On 27 June 2021, India transitioned from the epidemic phase to endemic prevalence, sustained for the past 140 days as of November 14.
Are we out of the woods yet? After the first wave abated, we entered a 10-week endemic phase, only to be interrupted by the second wave. The Delta variant of the second wave had far higher transmission efficiency than the first wave variant (Wuhan-G614D). The recent AY.4.2 variant remains below 0.1%, showing low transmission efficiency that cannot overtake Delta transmission. India has thus become the world’s first country to reach endemic prevalence.
Epidemic means daily numbers of Covid cases rise to a crescendo and decline until a steady state with low numbers (endemic prevalence) is reached. The second wave peaked on May 6 (4,14,433 cases) and declined to less than 50,000 cases per day (seven-day moving average) on June 27. After 73 days, on September 8, daily numbers fell below 40,000; after 16 days (September 24) below 30,000; after 14 days (October 8) below 20,000; after 19 days (October 27) below 15,000, sustained for 18 days (November 14).