BENGALURU: Going by the trajectory of the pandemic in other countries, there is no reason to think that India will not have a second wave of Covid infections, experts said during a panel discussion on the novel coronavirus on Thursday. “Countries such as the UK, the US, Brazil and in Europe, which are three-four months ahead of India in terms of the pandemic saw their second wave. It will come to India too, but will be milder and hopefully fizzle out faster than the first wave, as only 6% of the population is above 60,” Dr V Subramanian, infectious diseases specialist at Apollo Hospital said during the event, which was organised by Neuberg Diagnostics.
Dr V Ravi, Nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 and retired professor at NIMHANS agreed with this. As the number of cases is much lower now, complacency has set in, he said.
“During the surge between June and September, around 1.2 lakh tests were done per day. It has come down to 75,000, which can lead to another surge. Containment zones will be back for at least another year, until everyone is vaccinated. But a lockdown will be the last weapon.
The recent cases in Maharashtra are not indicative of a new variant, but the result of superspreader events and reduced testing,” Dr Ravi said.On variant strains, he said SARS-COV-2 mutates when it makes copies of itself. “A second reason for mutations is large populations being infected, leading to immune-escape variants,” he said.
Private centre charges
Private facilities are waiting for government guidelines on vaccination, said Dr Saranya Narayan, chief microbiologist at Neuberg Diagnostics, but unofficially, they have been told that the vaccine could be priced at around `300 per dose for the public. “It is not likely to cost above Rs 1,000. We hear it may be around `300,” Dr Saranya said.