Need for caution

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Need for caution

Monday, 20 June 2022 | Pioneer

Need for caution

Corona cases are rising again but there’s no major concern of a deadly third wave

 

Coronavirus cases in India are again on the rise, though the number is still not alarmingly high. For the first time in months, the daily cases crossed the 10,000-mark this month and have remained over the 10k mark thereafter. The good news is that the fatality rate is still quite low and recoveries are showing significant improvement. Many reasons are being attributed to it by experts who feel that it is a new variant and the vaccine is not that effective against it. Besides, it happens to be a rainy season when immunity is generally low against all viruses, including the COVID variants. According to experts, the surge in the cases of Corona is due to Omicron sub-lineages. People have also started ignoring the COVID guidelines. They are behaving as if the pandemic is over once and for all. The experts feel that the dip in immunity, both natural as well as through vaccines, is reflected in the rise in the number of cases. Many reasons are being cited for vaccination not giving full protection against the virus — a higher gap in the second and third dose being a major reason.

Besides, the Government has also faltered on the policy front, like lack of clarity for the free third dose to below-60 populataion, no vaccination for below-12 children and a slow vaccination drive for the under-18. Experts, however, feel that there is no cause to panic even if the numbers rise. BA.4 and BA.5, which are now circulating, are known to have a marginally higher replication rate but the requirement for oxygen and hospitalisation is quite low. Moreover, they have an extremely low death rate. Also, the BA.1 and BA.2 variants, which caused the third wave in India, continue to be dominant. They account for over 30 per cent of the cases. The first case of BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was first detected on May 22, less than a month ago. The good news, however, is that the current uptrend is losing steam as the weekly average growth in active cases has begun to decrease. The test positivity rate is also slowing down. There is no major concern of a deadly third wave but that is no reason to let the guard down!

 

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