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Coronavirus Re-Infection Is Very Rare, Not A Matter Of Concern: Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR

The Indian Council of Medical Research’s remarks come amid suspected cases of COVID-19 reinfection being reported from states like Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra and even in other countries

Coronavirus Re-Infection Is Very Rare, Not A Matter Of Concern: Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR
  • COVID-19 reinfections have been reported across the world
  • Last week, Bengaluru reported the first case of COVID-19 reinfection
  • Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown and needs investigation: CDC

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday (September 15) said that re-infection with coronavirus is very rare. “Re-infection is very rare with COVID-19. We have seen re-infection occurs in case of measles and (if) someone gets measles, he needs to be protected all his life from measles even though he generates certain anti-bodies,” Dr Bhargava said at a press conference.

Also Read: 27-year-old Woman Is The First Reported Case Of Coronavirus Reinfection In Bengaluru, Experts Explain What It Means

Similarly, we can have re-infection in COVID-19 as it is being described by the case in Hong Kong. It is not a matter of concern. One point be noted that whenever re-infection occurs, earlier symptoms would have been mild, Dr Bhargava said.

A Hong Kong man, who recovered from COVID-19 was infected again four-and-a-half months later after the first infection in the first documented instance of human re-infection last month, researchers at the University of Hong Kong reported.

The expert group at Centre for Disease Control (CDC), US Department of Health, in its guidance note recently said that,

Re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been definitively confirmed in any recovered persons to date. If, and if so when, persons can be re-infected with the SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown and is a subject of investigation.

However, this does not mean that people once infected with the virus can be said to have developed immunity against re-infection, it said.

In India over 38.5 lakh persons have recovered from COVID-19, one of the highest in the world, Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry has said that the country has consistently maintained a low and declining Case Fatality Rate (1.64 per cent) and it is far below the global average of 3.2 per cent and that of many other countries. The aim is to achieve a national CFR of less than one per cent.

US and countries of Europe had a peak, then they came down and there is a second wave occurring there. We learnt from that. We distributed the curve in a way that we did not have many deaths. It was because we had an effective lockdown, we did not have a huge peak at all, Dr Bhargava said.

Also Read: As The World’s First Case Of COVID-19 Reinfection Confirms In Hong Kong, Experts Say Second Time Infections Are Possible But Rare

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.  


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