India Fears Second COVID-19 Wave With Three New Mutants, Five States On High Alert

After a hike in cases of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 in Maharashtra, West Bengal and other states, India is likely to witness a second wave of COVID-19.

In the past few days, Indian medical experts reported new variants of COVID-19 found in several states of India including Maharashtra and South Indian states.

With this, the everyday spike in cases also increased,from 10,000 cases, the Nation is now reporting 15,000 cases. In just 10 days, India which was at 98% recovery rate, reported 1 lakh cases, taking the total active cases to 1.50 lakhs.

In regard to new cases and mutants of COVID-19, the Central Government wrote to 5 states, asking to increase the number of tests, take precautions and other preservation measures to control the spread of the virus.

Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra also showed concern and said, “A second wave (COVID-19) is knocking on door.” He said, “The second wave has not yet come but it is knocking on our door. We will get to know in the next two weeks whether the second wave has come.”

Due to a surge in the COVID-19 cases, the Maharashtra Government even announced a one week lockdown in a few selected districts including Amravati, Akola and Buldana.

According to experts, the surge in COVID-19 cases could be due to laxity in the safety protocols enforced by the Government.

Though India recorded a fall in single day COVID-19 cases, the reports of 4 states and one union territory (UT) recorded a 20 % to 69 % rise of COVID-19 cases in the past 2 to 3 days.

The states and UT which are a concern for the Central Government are: Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir.

In addition, the Union Health Ministry signalled citizens to be cautious, fearing the second wave of COVID-19 in India.

The Ministry also said, the Deadly COVID-19 rise has coincided with the detection of the two mutations of the virus in India.

Scientists also fear this new variant and rise in cases could make vaccines less effective and trigger re infections.

With this, India now has all three Coronavirus variants that have caused a massive resurgence of cases globally B.1.1.7, first discovered in the United Kingdom; B.1.351, dominant in South Africa; and P.1, from Brazil.

Speaking about the new variant, Randeep Guleria, the Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said, “Personally feel we have a window of opportunity available now because our cases are down, but this window can change anytime as we have seen in various parts of the world, specially with new variants coming up from different countries.” He further said, “So we should not lose this moment and try to vaccinate a large number of our citizens which will be able to provide some level of protection as far as COVID-19 is concerned.”

These mutants have a unique collection of mutations, which make them spread more readily or affect vaccine immunity.

Stay tuned for further updates.


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