COVID-19: Number of cases in third wave will depend on variants and strains, says Dr Gagandeep Kang

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, August 05, 2021, 06:12 PM IST
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Amid impending third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, India's top virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang said there are multiple possibilities as a fresh wave will depend on many things, including a new variant, or a new strain of the variant. In every case, the scenario will be different, the virologist was quoated as saying by news agency ANI.

Mr Kang said that if the new wave is driven by new variants, it will be difficult to predict the number of cases. Not just Kang, but earlier too many experts have said that Covid's third wave is unlikely to be as severe as that of the first and the second as the vaccine coverage will play a significant role. "If it's driven by strains then we know numbers are likely to be low," Dr Kang said.

Further Miss Kang said, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is somewhat dependent on the environment, the virologist said. "We know that this is a virus that is dependent on the environment and I think what we are seeing from certain other parts of the world is that there may be some seasonal elements to this virus." We have to get through another winter and see that how that plays out, in determining how much we see and when," Kang added.

She also said as long as the virus is replicating, the chances of a new variant emerging remain high. To stop the virus from replication, the transmission of the infection has to be stopped as replication takes place in the human host.

She advised that apart from Covid-appropriate behaviour, one should ensure staying at fully ventilated places, avoiding crowded areas etc.

The case trajectory of Covid-19 in India has registered substantial decline -- from over four lakhs per day at the peak of the second wave to 30,549 on August 3 -- said Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry recently. India's active caseload has significantly declined and stands at 4 lakh currently. Kerala has over 1.65 lakh of active cases. In total nine states have over 10,000 active covid cases as of now. A total of 60 per cent Covid cases are being reported from Kerala and Maharashtra alone.

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