On Tuesday, Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog said there is a stabilization in the impact of COVID-19 in the country, but we have to be more careful in our hygiene practices as it is a respiratory virus and most respiratory viruses escalate during winter. Urging people to follow the COVID protocol strictly, Dr Paul cited the second peak in the European countries, and said that the upcoming festive season can be a favorable condition for the virus to create super spreader events.
"But we have to be prepared and strictly follow Covid preventive measures. In European countries, the second peak is seen, so we have to be extra cautious. This is also a festive season. There are gatherings. And it is a favourable condition for the virus to create super spreader events," he said.
Further, he said that people in the country don't have to create such a situation which will be counterproductive.
"We don't have to create such a situation which is not in our benefit. We have to follow this Jan Andolan for Covid precautionary measures," he said.
On the issue of preventing the virus, Dr Paul reiterated the need to wear masks to prevent transmission of the infection. According to government data, COVID-19 caseload in India stands at 71,75,881 as of October 13, including 8,38,729 active cases, 62,27,296 cured/discharged/migrated cases and 1,09,856 deaths.
Meanwhile, a study confirming the first confirmed case of reinfection with the virus in the US said that COVID-19 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 for a second time might experience more severe symptoms. The study, published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, found evidence that an individual with no known immune disorders or underlying conditions was infected with the virus in two separate occurrences.
According to the scientists, including those from the University of Nevada in the US, the patient, a 25-year old male, was infected with two distinct SARS-CoV-2 variants within a 48-day time frame, while testing negative in between infections. The study noted that the patient's second infection was more severe, resulting in hospitalisation with oxygen support, indicating previous exposure to COVID-19 may not translate to guaranteed total immunity.