COVID Pandemic Likely To Continue In Next Year, Second Wave
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The coronavirus pandemic is likely to spillover to 2021 and continue for some months given the trend in the rise of daily Covid-19 cases at present, said Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi in an interview to India Today on 4 September.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: Why is the Covid curve not flattening?

The Covid-19 infection has now spread across India and has reached smaller cities and rural areas. This is why the numbers have increased. Because of our population, we will have a huge number of cases in absolute numbers, but in terms of cases per million, our figure is lower.

Q: Are parts of India seeing the second wave of Covid-19?

"Yes, we can say that we are seeing some sort of a second wave in certain parts of the country."

"There are multiple factors for this. One of them is our testing capacity has been boosted tremendously. However, the more important factor that I think is that many of us have gone into the stage of Covid behaviour fatigue."

"Many people who were very strict in terms of complying with the Covid safety measures in the initial phases, now seem to hold the view that enough is enough."

Q: Can asymptomatic cases also suffer lung damage?

"People who carried out CT scans of asymptomatic cases found that in about 20-30 per cent cases there were some patches in the lung when the cases were asymptomatic. In most of them, these patches vanished spontaneously without leaving any residual damage. But in some cases, it did cause scarring of lungs".

Q: How serious is the risk of reinfection?

"There have been cases of reinfection in some parts of the world. At this point in time, reinfection is not the major concern. There is sufficient data to suggest that antibodies once created in a Covid patient can protect the person from reinfection for at least some time three-six months at least. What happens 9-12 months on, needs to be studied."

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