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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

India’s deadly second wave seems to be slowing down with most states under lockdown.

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As it is getting apparent,this second wave was surged by the emergence of the Delta Variant(B.1.617.2).It has been shown to have 60% more transmissibility than the Alpha variant( B.117).This perhaps explains why India saw catastrophic increase in the new cases that overwhelmed the health system.Further this variant is known to escape the immune system meaning, monoclonal antibodies used in the treatment will be less effective to neutralize this virus and the new studies emerging from around the world demonstrating this variant is less susceptible to single dose of either Pfizer or COVISHIELD vaccines.2nd dose given at shorter interval is now recommended in view of this issue being flagged up.

As the caseload is coming down,it is very vital the lock release and ease of restrictions have to be gradual and Covid appropriate behavior should be enforced among the public,otherwise resurgence of cases will be an unfortunate fall out as nearly 50% of the unexposed population will still be vulnerable to get infected.

India has set a target to vaccinate the population by Dec 2021.To keep this target,India has to increase the daily vaccinations to 6.6 million doses a day.

Added to the woes of the second wave,India is also battling the deadly Mucormycosis problem which has become an endemic issue throughout the country.Shortage of the vital anti fungal drug Ambisome has further complicated the management of this problem.

India is adding up more vaccine choices and bigger numbers in the coming months,the only choice left to save more less should the third wave hit the country in the foreseeable future.

The second wave has exposed the severe lacuna in the scientific backup to the pandemic which has failed to prepare the country to face this wave.Improving the scientific back up and building up robust institutional network not only for this pandemic but for any future such mass health emergencies should be the priority of the nation

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