2nd virus wave likely if rules are ignored: ICMR

Several regions unlocking and increase in inter-state movement, chances of spikes are now high if citizens ignore precautions

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ICMR

Last Updated on November 9, 2020 by The Health Master

Pune: Senior epidemiologists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have warned that states should not disregard the threat from a possible virus second wave and must focus on strengthening individual protection.

The experts said with several regions unlocking and increase in inter-state movement, chances of spikes are now high if citizens ignore precautions. “States cannot, and should not, take it easy. Delhi is seeing its third wave. States such Maharashtra should be on the alert,” said chief scientist and senior epidemiologist Dr Samiran Panda.

Dr Panda said regions that may have allowed relaxations without ensuring individual protection are bound to see a rise in cases. “Virus infection waves can be state-specific, considering the precautionary measures that are in place to prevent rise in cases,” he said.

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Giridhara Babu, of Public Health Foundation of India, said pockets with susceptible people will see outbreaks. Population movement and effective testing are important determinants of detecting outbreaks, he said. A C Mishra, a former director of the National Institute of Virology, said the virus is unique and its biology is yet to be completely understood.

Mishra was at the helm during the SARS and swine flu outbreaks. ‘This is more severe than SARS and swine flu. The only way forward is to keep our public health infrastructure — including care facilities for serious cases — in place as we have to learn to live with it,” he said.

With unlocks on, Mishra said contact tracing or door-to-door surveillance would be practically impossible to keep up due to high inter-state movement..


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