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Published On: Sat, Aug 29th, 2020

Is India At Early Stages Of Second Wave Of Corona virus?

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maxresdefault (2)NEW DELHI : As lock down measures are lifted, many parts of the world are feeling a sense of relief. But experts warn of a second, possibly worse wave of the corona virus. There is a precedent for multiple peaks in a pandemic.
The second wave of the 1918 Spanish flu was more deadly than the first. With coronavirus, could the worst be yet to come?

The latest COVID-19 trends over the last 10 days are worrying. Not only at the all-India level, but 10 of the 20 bigger states in India are showing signs of a second surge.
Upward trend in daily new cases, the rising positivity rate (which is particularly worrying in the context of the increasing number of Rapid Antigen Tests being conducted. Antigen tests have a high false-negativity), and the worrying resurgence of the increase in R (the Reproduction Rate, which measures how infectious the virus is still).
There were some hopeful signs a fortnight ago with the “R” gradually coming down and the positivity rate falling too. Unfortunately, those encouraging signs did not last long and we may be seeing the early stages of a second wave.
It is, of course, too soon to be sure that this worrying trend will continue – but it is important not to just sit back and hope things will improve – it is crucial that the authorities act decisively and act now.
Meanwhile, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that a second nationwide lockdown cannot be ruled out if there was a resurgence in the number of coronavirus cases, it was reported on Saturday.
In a statement to The Times newspaper, Hancock said the possibility of a second wave was “a very serious threat” and that other countries were already seeing a spike in cases, metro.co.uk reported.
But the UK is managing to keep the number of new cases “flat” through the test and trace system and local lockdowns, he told The Times. “Cases go up again, and we have to use very extensive local lockdowns or take further national action.

Worrying news emerged from Belgium and Netherlands on Tuesday as Dutch media reported re-infections of corona virus. A patient in the Netherlands and another in Belgium got infected after making recovery from Covid-19 infection the first time around.
The development on Tuesday follows reports of the first known re-infection of coronavirus in Hong Kong. This has been confirmed by scientists. Dutch broadcaster NOS reported that the re-infected patient in the Netherlands was an old person with a weakened immune system.
Virologist Marion Koopmans, cited by the NOS, said that it was common for people to remain infected with the virus for a long time with mild symptoms. The infection flares up in some cases. Marion Koopmans said that genetic testing was required in both instances of infection to check whether there were any differences in the virus present.
“Not good News”
Virologist Marc Van Ranst told Dutch media that antibodies developed by the Belgian patient were not strong enough to fend off slightly different variant of the virus.”It’s not good news,” Ranst was quoted as saying by NOS.
It is not yet clear whether the cases were one-off or there was a danger of a large number of people getting re-infected after they recovered from Covid-19.
Situation in Hong Kong:
On Monday, a man in Hong Kong was found to have been reinfected by coronavirus after a trip to Spain. He was infected in March and caught the virus again after his trip in mid-August.
Scientists have been warning of the virus coming back in the winter, and with many infected patients just recovering, over 90% of the world population could be susceptible to infection.

While many labs have found success in vaccine trials, they remain to be given the final nod, after which they will need to be mass produced which leaves the globe vulnerable to the winter wave of the virus.
(With Inputs from media Reports).

 

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