As India continues to reel under the unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor M Vidyasagar, who is heading the government-appointed scientists' panel that is currently monitoring the trajectory of the Coronavirus infection, spoke exclusively to Republic Media Network's Niranjan Narayanaswamy on Saturday. During the conversation, Professor M Vidyasagar said that the second wave of COVID-19 is much more severe than the first wave.
Stating that the peak number of cases in the first wave at around September 15, 2020, was about 1 lakh per day, the head of the expert panel said that as per the projections and studies, the peak of the second wave is likely to be 4 lakh per day or slightly higher. He further said, "We expect the daily number of Coronavirus cases to peak sometime in the next weak."
Remarking that the most distinguishing feature of Coronavirus is the presence and spread via asymptomatic patients, the head of the expert panel of scientists said that previously such infections were only carried through people who were visibly sick. However, in COVID-19, the virus is being spread more by the people who are not visibly sick, he added.
Professor Vidyasagar said, "The next important thing to consider is that now it has been around 7 and a half months since the peak of the first wave of the pandemic hit. Therefore, many people, who might have been asymptomatic earlier would now be in the process of losing their immunity. This means they are now vulnerable to get infected again."
#StayStrongIndia | The next imp thing is it's now 7.5 months since the previous peak, so many people who were asymptomatic earlier but didn't test positive will be losing their immunity: M Vidyasagar, head of the govt panel on the infection's trajectory https://t.co/RZHKU3wOei pic.twitter.com/MyTFjlJewV— Republic (@republic) May 1, 2021
Coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high with over 4 lakh new infections being reported in the last 24 hours, while the active cases crossed the 32-lakh mark, according to an update by the Union Health Ministry. The infection tally rose to 1,91,64,969 with 4,01,993 new cases, while the death toll increased to 2,11,853 with 3,523 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
#StayStrongIndia | Don't be complacent that there won't be a 3rd wave. Wave 1 led to 40-45% Indians being asymptomatically infected and getting some kind of immunity, but that's not enough for herd immunity; can be bridged with vaccinations: M Vidyasagar https://t.co/RZHKU3wOei pic.twitter.com/TdFZLXK4Cc— Republic (@republic) May 1, 2021
Registering a steady increase, the active cases have increased to 32,68,710, accounting for 17.06 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 81.84 per cent. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,56,84,406, while the case fatality rate stands 1.11 per cent, the data stated.
#StayStrongIndia | The number of people who are getting infected after taking both doses is 4 in 10,000, which is a very small number, and the infection is less severe: M Vidyasagar, head of the govt panel on the infection's trajectory https://t.co/rGQJsiKgt2 pic.twitter.com/gz9wPq8XTm— Republic (@republic) May 1, 2021