Covid Crisis Not Over Yet, 3rd Wave To Be Lethal: CSIR

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Director General Dr Shekhar C Mande on Sunday warned that the COVID-19 crisis is far from being over and allowing a ‘third wave’ by lowering our guard is fraught with grave consequences.

Mande was speaking on ‘India’s response to COVID-19 from S and T perspective’ at virtual ‘National Science Day Lecture’ organised by Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram.

The CSIR DG clarified that India is nowhere near achieving herd immunity and as people should continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing and hand hygiene to stay away from getting infected by the virus.

Cautioning the people and the scientific community against allowing ‘complacency to set in’, he warned that a third wave will precipitate a far more dangerous situation than the challenge the country had faced so far.

Answering questions from the scientific community, Mande expressed the hope that the Covid-19 vaccines would be effective against the Covid-19 virus variants.

“We would like to believe that the vaccines are ‘effective’ against the variants as the vaccines worked against the entire part of the virus while the mutation took place on a part of the virus,” Mande said.

“The prevalence of COVID-19 cases had come down not because of herd immunity, but because of other reasons, including wearing of masks and people remaining outdoors during the winter. The fact that the virus remained suspended in the air in closed areas and it lost its potency in open areas helped a great deal in controlling the spread during the winter,” the CSIR DG explained.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), there are 1,64,511 active cases of COVID-19 in India till 8pm today.

“1,07,75,169 people have recovered from COVID-19 in India whereas 1,57,051have succumbed to the virus,” MoHFW informed.

1,43,01,266 heathcare and frontline workers have been vaccinated across the country till now, the ministry said. (ANI)

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