Coronavirus cases have started increasing again. The infection rate has gone up to 2.73 per cent and some states are getting even more patients. In conversation with Ruchika Chitravanshi, eminent virologist and former professor at Velur Christian Medical College, T Jacob John stresses on motivating people for booster doses and understanding the statistics of rising infections and deaths due to corona. Edited excerpts:
Do you think that the reason for the increase in the cases of corona again in the country is due to the decrease in the immunity of the people?
We need data on people who are getting sick and their immunity. There is no point in saying that immunity is on the decline. People who have not received a booster dose of the vaccine may have reduced immunity. We are also far behind in the matter of taking booster dose. This increase may also be due to the decreasing prevalence of omicron. Everyday a population is being added to us who have not got vaccinated. So far only 70-72 percent vaccination has been done. We are not vaccinating children, who can get the infection and spread it. The number of people taking booster doses is also very small. We are not using the available resources fully and even our smallest mistake can help in spreading the infection.
Do you see this turning into another wave?
In fact the number of patients is increasing. They are increasing slowly and steadily. Due to this the number of active patients is also increasing. This means that the source of infection has also increased. We can expect it to increase for some more time. The transition is on the verge of ending by February 2022. If influenza can spread in the environment, then why not corona. We also stopped wearing masks and did not maintain immunity.
What will be our strategy now?
We should ensure that people who have had two doses of the vaccine are given a booster dose and elderly and sick people should be given a second booster dose. Four to five people are dying every day. Who are the people who are dying? What did they do? We should know about these things. We do not take health matters seriously.
Do you think the virus is mutating?
Existing infections have been around for a long time. They do not cause pneumonia. No new variants have been found. If we are worried, we have the vaccine. I have not seen anyone promoting the vaccine. It seems like we want the infection to spread.
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