India moving towards herd immunity as Covid-19 cases declining, no want to panic over UK virus strain: Health experts – health


India is possibly moving towards herd immunity as Covid-19 cases are declining and there’s no want to panic over the new virus strain found in the UK because reports propose that it not as virulent, doctors said at a webinar on Thursday.

The webinar ‘HEAL-Thy Samvaad’ used to be organised by the Heal Foundation to talk about the dynamics of the new strain of Covid-19 detected first in the United Kingdom.

According to the union health ministry, approximately 25 people in India have been diagnosed with the United Kingdom variant strain of Covid-19. All 25 persons are in physical isolation in health facilities.

Dr (Prof) Sanjay Rai, Professor of Community Medicine at AIIMS, said there’s no want to panic approximately the new strain of Covid, it’s not as virulent according to reports.

“Possibly, we are moving towards herd immunity because in India the cases are coming down. One of the crucial classical examples is Dharavi slum of Maharashtra. So far as the number of cases is concerned, it depends upon testing,” he said.

He also referred to the country’s strides towards development and availability of Covid-19 vaccine.

Speaking on the dynamics of the new strain of Covid-19, Dr Amitav Banerjee, Professor and Head of Community Medicine, Dr DY Patil Medical College, Pune, stressed on relying on the data produced in the country.

“So far as the new strain of Covid-19 is concerned, it is good for us Indians to follow our own data based on the emerging cases, do research and not rely on the western data and rate of occurrence there. Relying on western data might lead us in trouble as the demographic conditions of India are relatively different than those of western countries,” he said.

He said the recovery rate of Covid-19 patients in India is 99 per cent vis-a-vis 97 per cent globally.

“It is nature’s way of adaptations that more deadly or virulent strains do not go far. Alternatively, less virulent strains spread wide, bringing asymptomatic and gentle cases wherein herd immunity can develop faster. Subsequently, in India, we want to wait and watch and be selective on the subject of vaccination and there’s no want to panic on account of the new strain of Covid-19,” he said.

Dr Samiran Panda, Head, Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division and Director and Scientist of ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), said the United Kingdom virus strain has high transmissibility rate of approximately 60 to 70 per cent but high transmissibility rate does not necessarily intent that it has a high fatality rate too.

“Viruses at all times require a host to receive transmitted from one person to another. Following proper Covid appropriate behaviour, we will stop SARS-CoV-2 from spreading further. A balanced symbiotic relationship gets evolved over a time frame as viruses go from an epidemic existence to an endemic one and with less virulence potential. The respiratory viruses in specific, through this process, attain relevance as seasonal outbreak causing organisms,” he said.

Dr JC Suri, Director, Branch of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Fortis Hospital, said the new Covid strain would be more transferable.

“As of now, we don’t have any evidence to show that it is dangerous. The entire strains are also not clinically proven. And I don’t think that vaccine is going to be ineffective. Yes, it’s better to take precaution from the new strain. People must go for institutional quarantine. This variant isn’t virulent,” he said.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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