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Coronavirus Variants, Susceptible Population, Slack In Following COVID Appropriate Behaviour Behind Second Wave: Experts

The number of new coronavirus cases in India touched a record daily high since the outbreak of the pandemic with over 1.15 lakh new infections being reported in a span of 24 hours

Coronavirus Variants, Susceptible Population, Slack In Following COVID Appropriate Behaviour Behind Second Wave: Experts
Highlights
  • Single-day rise in cases breached the 1 lakh mark for 2nd time in 3 days
  • There are a greater number of people who are susceptible: Experts
  • All viral infections come in a wave: Experts

New Delhi: Slack in following COVID appropriate behaviour, a susceptible population and spread of variants could be among the main reasons for the second wave of coronavirus that has hit the country, healthcare experts have said. The number of new coronavirus cases in India touched a record daily high since the outbreak of the pandemic with over 1.15 lakh new infections being reported in a span of 24 hours, pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,28,01,785 on Wednesday (April 7).

Also Read: New Wave Of COVID-19 Spreading Faster Than Last Year, Demand For Beds Increasing: Delhi’s LNJP Hospital

The single-day rise in cases breached the one-lakh mark for the second time in three days. Dr Giridhara R Babu, Professor and Head, Lifecourse Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India, said three important factors can be responsible for the surge of cases.

Although the government has not acknowledged it as there is no clear evidence, there is definitely a role of new variants of concern which are more infectious and probably some of them are immune escape variants also and they are spreading faster than the earlier versions, Dr Babu told PTI.

Immune escape variants are not detected by the immune system. Some mutations confer this property to the virus and the antibodies are unable to detect it. The Brazil variant is generally not detected by antibodies and then there is a sub-group of South African variant that is also not detected, he said.

Most importantly, the pace of vaccination is not as fast as one would expect India to be in. The pace at which the vulnerable have to be covered is not satisfactory, he said.

He said it is very difficult to specifically say if the variant factor is responsible for the surge in India because genome sequencing has not been done to the levels that are expected.

So we are left guessing but nothing else can explain why cases are surging so fast and affecting the areas that presumably had higher levels of antibodies in serosurveys, he said.

Also Read: World Health Day 2021: WHO Issues Five Calls For Urgent Action To Combat Global Inequity In Health

Talking about the possibility of re-infection, he said it might be happening because of waning antibodies.

There is a role for reinfections, but it has not been studied in detail. As a result, there are a greater number of people who are susceptible, he said.

Dr Babu further said environmental factors and community behaviour are also playing their part.

Almost everything we do, whether it is rallies, melas, marriage, all this lead to transferring of infection from one person to another. Unless we act on each of these, work on understanding the virus and reducing its geographical area, building host immunity by speeding up vaccination and changing the environmental factors that facilitate faster spread, we can’t really expect that the wave will be controlled. Right now, it is surging ahead as a combination of all these may be at play, he said.

Speaking in the same vein, epidemiologist Dr N K Arora said the upsurge is because of “4-5 factors acting simultaneously”. He said all viral infections come in a wave, which is a natural phenomenon, and COVID-19 reached its crescendo in September last year. After ebbing, it is again seeing a crest.

Also Read: COVID-19 Mortality Among Youth, Middle-Aged People A Cause Of Concern: Karnataka Health Minister

He said the fear factor which was there in the initial six months of this pandemic has come down significantly as the economy has opened up, people have started moving out and have become less careful when it comes of COID-appropriate behaviour, he said. Moreover, social gatherings have increased and people have also started going out on vacations.

All this is linked to the decline in fear factor and the perception that it is a mild disease, he said.

He also noted that wearing masks has drastically reduced. Responding to a question on whether new variants of the coronavirus could be responsible for the surge, Arora said there are several aspects to the issue.

If we look at variant isolation rate versus the number of cases coming up it looks like they might be contributing but not a significant proportion of this upsurge is because of the variants, he told PTI.

He said the number of susceptible people in the community is still very high which is leading to this upsurge. Prof Jayaprakash Muliyil, the former Principal, Christian Medical College, Vellore and the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Epidemiology, said a new susceptible pool has emerged because of people being a little less anxious about COVID. Earlier, people were frightened, but now the same population is less worried. On the role of variants, he said they could increase the attack rate, but ther has to be a susceptible population.

A new variant which completely ignores previous immunity acquired due to the infection is a very remote possibility and presently there is no evidence that it is operating, he added.

Also Read: No COVID-19 Vaccine Shortage In Any Part Of Country, Carelessness Behind Surge In Cases: Union Health Minister

(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

World

23,23,25,643Cases
19,46,11,603Active
3,29,58,002Recovered
47,56,038Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 23,23,25,643 and 47,56,038 have died; 19,46,11,603 are active cases and 3,29,58,002 have recovered as on September 28, 2021 at 3:48 am.

India

3,36,97,581 18,795Cases
2,92,2067,414Active
3,29,58,002 26,030Recovered
4,47,373 179Deaths
In India, there are 3,36,97,581 confirmed cases including 4,47,373 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,92,206 and 3,29,58,002 have recovered as on September 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,44,325

41,396 32

63,64,027

1,38,902 32

Kerala

46,41,587 11,699

1,57,733 6,122

44,59,193 17,763

24,661 58

Karnataka

29,73,899 504

12,833 409

29,23,320 893

37,746 20

Tamil Nadu

26,58,923 1,657

17,261 24

26,06,153 1,662

35,509 19

Andhra Pradesh

20,47,459 618

12,482 566

20,20,835 1,178

14,142 6

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,778 6

176 0

16,86,712 6

22,890

West Bengal

15,66,865 472

7,584 99

15,40,530 556

18,751 15

Delhi

14,38,746 32

366 5

14,13,295 37

25,085

Odisha

10,24,764 444

5,102 214

10,11,482 653

8,180 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,269 27

282 3

9,91,423 30

13,564

Rajasthan

9,54,316 13

86 9

9,45,276 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,872 21

142 9

8,15,648 30

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,504 8

118 2

7,81,868 6

10,518

Haryana

7,70,825 7

329 6

7,60,686 13

9,810

Bihar

7,25,947 3

57 11

7,16,230 14

9,660

Telangana

6,65,284 216

4,585 27

6,56,785 241

3,914 2

Punjab

6,01,538 38

284 2

5,84,747 35

16,507 1

Assam

6,01,031 412

4,587 42

5,90,593 362

5,851 8

Jharkhand

3,48,198 4

79 1

3,42,986 5

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,504 14

218 8

3,35,893 22

7,393

Jammu And Kashmir

3,29,125 117

1,513 1

3,23,190 118

4,422

Himachal Pradesh

2,18,523 209

1,730 16

2,13,124 225

3,669

Goa

1,76,145 50

862 56

1,71,980 106

3,303

Puducherry

1,26,127 37

866 35

1,23,423 72

1,838

Manipur

1,20,000 116

2,111 14

1,16,042 129

1,847 1

Mizoram

90,539 1,846

15,843 358

74,394 1,481

302 7

Tripura

84,085 19

275 3

82,999 22

811

Meghalaya

80,897 108

1,752 125

77,750 230

1,395 3

Chandigarh

65,217 7

44 3

64,354 4

819

Arunachal Pradesh

54,395 43

319 4

53,802 47

274

Sikkim

31,291 25

601 11

30,303 35

387 1

Nagaland

31,167 17

426 19

30,078 35

663 1

Ladakh

20,786 5

148 8

20,431 13

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 0

10,666

4

Lakshadweep

10,361

5 0

10,305

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,619 1

11 2

7,479 3

129

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