What is driving Second Wave of COVID in India?

Second Wave
It’s been confirmed that India has unfortunately caught up in developments of COVID19’s second wave. Daily positivity rate and reproduction numbers are enough to confirm it. Just looking at a daily rate merely doesn’t confirm it unless backed by R0 which is at 1.5.

Year Gone by
The first wave peaked in September 2020 and with close to no restriction on movement, gatherings began. Spike wasn’t seen then and here we are in April 2021 with fresh restrictions on movement.

Reasons Given
Ministry of Health says that people lacked compliance regarding the COVID along with the failed or below-par performance of containment strategies at ground level. Ministry did not speak on the variants. Experts claim it’s important to look at Virus, host, and environment which is called the epidemiological triad.

-New variants of concerns might be in circulations, and some can be immune escape too. Data management in this regard lacked.
-Host factors included weakening of antibodies over a period of time and not following protocols, especially about masks.
-Environment is clear, we have got super spreader events (Weddings, Election Rallies, etc) and fewer compliance and guidelines.

Indian Variants
Checking of virulence and transmissibility is likely not possible as data is itself not available. The ideal situation would have been that if epidemiological experts would have been provided with the data and genome sequencing details. Surprisingly we do not have data.

Reason for no surge during October to February
Antibodies were playing it role, but it was weakening gradually. Foreign travels were open which welcomed the new variants of the virus. The virus was changing. The massive outbreak came when susceptible pools built up.

The surge in Large Cities
Mumbai and Pune witnessed large infection rates in 2020 and are again witnessing a surge now. Again, there is no data and hence it’s absolutely unclear if it’s a new virus, reinfections, or even both.

New Variants
Experts say that there is a total lack of clarity of new variants being conclusively responsible for the surge in cases. But chances of double mutant virus and UK variants remains high

Genome Sequencing Needed
Only 1% of total positive samples are sequenced, while more than 5% should have been. COVID Compliance behavior is not followed. Without timely data from intense studies, no policymaking can be done. Hence, the blame game will always continue.

Read More: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/what-is-driving-the-second-wave-in-india/article34232390.ece
Photo: Material Handling and Logistics.

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