It has been 12 months since the first case of COVID was detected outside China.From barely 20 cases that were detected,today it has affected more than 100 million people around the world.
Compared to the first wave that swept through the world in April,the present surge in the western world is witnessing more rapid spread of cases,hospitalizations and ICU admissions and deaths.The British variant B117 has been demonstrated to have more transmissibility and possible increased mortality.ICU’s across UK are witnessing close to 70% crude mortality as compared to 40-45% during the first wave.This B117 is surfacing across the world.
The other mutant of concern B.1.351 from South Africa is causing more deaths in South Africa.All the vaccines tested so for against this variant have demonstrated 50% efficacy.Reports of re- infection with this mutant virus in those exposed to the original virus are being reported.
Today,we have 5 effective vaccines available.The only option left with us to vaccinate as many population as possible to increase the immunity in the population and to limit the viral replication in the community.
India has been witnessing declining infection with many districts not having reported new cases in the last 14 days.India had the peak on Sep 17th 2020.As it took 6 months to reach the peak,another 6 months for the descent that takes to end of March.The experience from Manaus from Brazil tells us how suddenly the mutant viruses surfaced in January resulting in mass casualties.
India has to exercise utmost vigilance during the waning phase of first wave and increase the pace of vaccinations to achieve vaccine induced herd immunity.If we are not serious now,the repercussions can be too costly.