DAK President Dr Nisar Ul Hassan
DAK President Dr Nisar Ul Hassan

SRINAGAR — With the surge in COVID-19 cases in various countries, Doctors’ Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday said there is no need to panic as most people in Kashmir have hybrid immunity because of a combination of widespread natural infection and vaccination.

“Hybrid immunity offers robust and long-lasting protection against COVID-19,” said DAK President and Influenza expert Dr. Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued to the news agency GNS.

Dr. Hassan said that according to a new study, people with hybrid immunity developed by both vaccination and previous infections have significant protection against future Covid infections. “The research has found that a major and durable immune response occurs if a person has been both vaccinated and got infected with the virus,” he said.

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The DAK President said more than 90 percent population in Kashmir is vaccinated and people have contracted the virus more than once during three COVID-19 waves that were witnessed since the beginning of the pandemic.

“The third wave was caused by omicron and its subvariants which are responsible for COVID-19 cases globally even now. We have been exposed to almost all of them over the last few months without there being any sign of a surge in cases or hospitalization. And, we don’t see this trend changing soon,” he said.

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“So there is no need to panic over Covid rise in China and other countries as Kashmiris have excellent protection against currently circulating variants,” said Dr. Nisar. He added, “However, we need to enhance genome sequencing of COVID-19 to look for newer variants.”

“There is an urgent need to set up a genetic testing lab in Kashmir to detect and track COVID-19 variants,” he added.

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