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Amidst the spike in daily cases in India many experts have warned of the possibility a devastating and deadlier second wave of the virus.

Apr 4, 2021

Several Indian states are witnessing a surge in fresh Covid-19 cases, amidst the ongoing nationwide vaccination drive. Maharashtra and Punjab have reported the highest number of new cases and fatalities across the country in the last fortnight, according to the latest Union Health Ministry data. Maharashtra registered 4,26,108 new cases in last two weeks ending March 31, while Punjab added 35,754 cases in the same period – the Ministry revealed during the last review meeting with all states and union territories.  Maharashtra and Punjab together contributed around 60 per cent of all Covid deaths in India during the last two weeks. The ministry has categorised 11 states including Maharashtra and Punjab as “states of grave concern” on account of their high and rising daily case and higher daily deaths. The other states include Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Haryana. Meanwhile, many experts have warned of the possibility a devastating and deadlier second wave of the pandemic. An Oxford University Professor said that youngsters infected with the new coronavirus strains led to the second wave of the virus in the UK and the same scenario is likely in India too. Also Read – NIRVANA: This pocket-sized machine can detect Covid-19 in 15 mins, track new variants
Young people who have been infected with the new Covid variants are spreading to more than one person, likely leading to a spike in daily cases. Young people led to the second wave in the UK through social mixing and returning to school explained Zhengming Chen, Professor of Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, in an interview with IANS.  However, a second wave is very unlikely to increase the fatality rates, the expert said, citing a number of reasons such as better treatment and clinical management of patients, younger age of the newly infected individuals. Also Read – COVID-19: Is the ‘double mutant’ variant found in India more dangerous? Here’s what to know
The US and Europe have already been hit by the second wave and Chen said it is partly due to more transmissible new variants and partly due to lockdown fatigue of the population. According to him, vaccination is the best way to avoid the second wave of coronavirus and suggested that India should expedite the process. Also Read – Negative COVID test report mandatory for all visitors to Bengaluru
As of April 4, 2021, India has administered 7.5 Crore vaccine doses to its people since the drive began on January 16 with two vaccines Covishield and Covaxin. It started the third phase of the vaccination drive from April 1 to include all above age of 45 years. The high-burden states and union territories have been asked to take stringent measures for contain the COVID surge.
With inputs from agencies