STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Sero survey outcome positive, but not the time to take it easy

Firstly, about 40 crore people are still vulnerable and the spatial distribution of the antibodies may not be even across the country, making a third wave a real possibility still.

Published: 22nd July 2021 07:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2021 07:24 AM   |  A+A-

A medic collects blood samples for serological survey (File Photo | PTI)

The result of the fourth serological survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research is the best piece of news since March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic began to take a heavy toll on the health and livelihood of its citizens. That nearly 68% of the population has antibodies means a large section is protected against the virus. But as ICMR chief Balram Bhargava warned, it is no cause for celebration and a reason to throw caution to the wind. There are three reasons why there is a need for continued vigilance.

Firstly, about 40 crore people are still vulnerable and the spatial distribution of the antibodies may not be even across the country, making a third wave a real possibility still. Secondly, the antibodies offer only temporary protection, perhaps for only a few months. A study conducted by Italy’s Padua University and Imperial College, London, in an entire Italian village showed that antibodies are present at least for nine months after infection but we still do not how long they last. Thirdly, the virus can mutate and strike anytime. The Delta variant is currently playing havoc in many countries, from Australia and Indonesia to the UK and the US, forcing authorities to lock down once again. The only way ahead is vigilance while reasonable restrictions must continue, such as a ban on large congregations.

In the meantime, the Union and state governments should face the pandemic unitedly instead of the current confrontationist rhetoric that characterises their relationship. On this aspect, the new Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s lengthy statement to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, which was more of an accusation against the opposition and less of a concrete plan to tackle the vaccine shortage, did little to create the expectation that he would be any different from his predecessor. Harsh Vardhan was more often countering charges of failure in handling the pandemic rather than mitigating the vaccine crisis. Mandaviya should not walk down that path, especially as he is understood to have made a good beginning in his new role. It is believed he has shown more drive and is result-oriented. He needs to concentrate more on the job at hand instead of busying himself with mainly deflecting criticism.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp