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‘Scale Issue’ Differs In COVID-19 Surge In US And India, Says WHO’s India Representative

Dr Roderico Ofrin, WHO’s India Representative believes ‘the scale of the surge and scale of the response’ is the difference between countries like the US and India

'Scale Issue' Differs In COVID-19 Surge In US And India, Says WHO's India Representative
Highlights
  • India is currently witnessing a second wave of coronavirus pandemic
  • India is the second worst affected country by COVID-19 in terms of cases
  • No harm in preparing for the third wave of COVID-19: Dr Roderico Ofrin, WHO

Geneva: The difference in COVID-19 surge in countries like the United States and India is the “scale of the surge and scale of the response”, says Dr Roderico Ofrin, WHO’s India Representative as the pandemic continues to challenges country’s health infrastructure. “I think the difference is in terms of scale. The pattern of how this has spread and the waves whether it was in Europe or the US is fairly similar. But the scale is very different. The density of the population is probably a factor for this,” Dr Ofrin told UN News in an exclusive interview on Monday (April 3).

Also Read: Mumbai Hospital Carries Out Deliveries Of 1,001 Coronavirus-Infected Mothers Amid Pandemic

…so it’s a scale issue — the scale of the surge and scale of the response. I think that would be the big difference in these countries that have seen the surge, he added.

Over the possible spread of double mutant in India, Dr Ofrin said that “there is some evidence of variants, such as the B.1.17 as being more contagious and as more transmissibility and so is the B.1.617 which as the double mutations. But that alone is not much proof yet in terms of if it’s the single driver in the rapid rise in cases.”

Also Read: ‘Indian Strain’ Of Coronavirus Found In 17 Countries: WHO

Whether India should prepare for the third wave, the WHO official said,

There is no problem in keep on preparing. It’s a whole cycle — preparedness, readiness, response and recovery. It’s a whole cycle and you don’t stop. We have to be ahead of the game because we know how to deal with it. The tools are the same — consistent testing, contact tracing, in this case, active case finding and early proper treatment.

Also Read: Third Wave Of COVID-19 Pandemic ‘Inevitable’: Government

On UN’s response to COVID-19 surge in India, Dr Ofrin said, “We have 2600 network of experts in place in 23 states and union territories. That’s the network of staff that will have dealt with public health goals.”

We have also repurposed some of our staff and experts in the health system, he added. India on Sunday 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections and 3,417 related deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the union health ministry on Monday morning. With this, the cumulative count of the cases went up to 1,99,25,604.

Also Read: More Virulent COVID Strain, Insufficient Infrastructure Have Led To More Deaths In Delhi: Experts

(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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