COVID-19 Latest Update Today: COVID-appropriate behaviour is the shield against mutant variants and third wave, says expert - check all details here
Experts have cautioned that the next wave could be less severe if people keep following Covid-appropriate behaviour and a large proportion of the population is given the COVID-19 vaccine shots.
COVID-19 Latest Update Today: As the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has led to surge in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country, there are various concerns about the possibility of a third wave. As per ANI, the union health ministry on Monday morning stated that India has registered 3,66,161 fresh COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours. With this addition, the cumulative count of the cases has gone to 2,26,62,575.
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However, as per a report by india.com, experts have cautioned that the next wave could be less severe if people keep following Covid-appropriate behaviour and a large proportion of the population is given the COVID-19 vaccine shots. According to many experts, a casual approach that followed the first wave could be a possible reason for the pandemic raising its head again. Several experts also feel that the new mutants and variants of the COVID-19 are more virulent. Dr Saumitra Das, Director, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG ), Kalyan and professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore said, "Any change, minor or major, that occurs in its structure is known as a mutation. A virus undergoes hundreds and thousands of such mutations."
So far, the mutations have not warranted any change in the required treatment or vaccines, but the experts believe that it is technologically possible to tweak the medicine or a vaccine quickly to fight a mutant that poses a threat to their efficacy. However, it has been different for COVID-19 as Dr Arun Sharma, a community medicine expert and director of NIIRNCD (ICMR), Jodhpur, pointed out that because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, the scientists are not getting enough time to identify the mutants. Hence, in such a scenario, COVID-appropriate behaviour is very critical in controlling the spread of the disease.
Last week, the Principal Scientific Advisor to Centre, K Vijay Raghavan warned that the third wave is 'inevitable'. He stated, "Vaccines are effective against current variants. New variants will arise all over the world and in India too but variants that increase transmission will likely plateau. Immune evasive variants and those which lower or increase disease severity will arise going ahead." However, he also assured of the fact that an intense research program is going on in the country, as well as the world where the scientists are working towards anticipating these kinds of variants and acting against them rapidly by early warning. They are also developing modified tools.
Reacting to the mutant virus, Dr. Sharma stated that it is possible for a virus mutant to escape the body’s immunity and undo the efforts in developing an effective vaccine or medicine against it, but chances of it escaping the shield called COVID-appropriate behaviour are low. He stressed upon the fact that three-ply mask, frequent hand washing or sanitising, maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowd, are still most effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
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