Mask is ‘super vaccine’, COVID-19 still a threat, say scientists
“Hyderabad is recording around 20 positive cases a day, but the wastewater sampling shows the cases are much more. Just because many people are not falling sick, doesn’t mean the virus is not there. It is a hidden enemy,” said Tata Institute for Genetics and Society director Rakesh Mishra.
There is likelihood of a more infectious variant emerging as the virus is being challenged with infection- and vaccine-induced immunity, said the former director of CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology.
No need to panic due to rise in Covid infections
“There is no evidence of new Omicron variants behind the surge of Covid infections in North India. In the last few weeks, human activity in these States has increased and local governments have done away with all restrictions. Therefore, the slight rise in infections was expected,” former Director of Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and present Director of Tata Institute of Genetics and Society, Dr RK Mishra, said.
The top biologist, however, urged people to make sure they follow Covid appropriate behaviour at all times. “Just because governments have stopped implementing mask mandates and other Covid restrictions, it does not mean that we forget our individual responsibility. Extensive use of masks in public spaces must be taken up,” Dr Mishra said.
Is a fourth Covid wave upon us?
“It isn’t just a matter of the disease. Allowing the virus to spread unrestricted puts us at risk of a new variant emerging, since the viral structure may change every time it infects a new host,” says Dr Rakesh Mishra, director, Tata Institute of Genetics and Society.
No need to panic about COVID-19
It is important to keep track of the number of cases. 6,000 cases in a country like India is not a big deal. More than that, it was expected that cases would go up slightly when you remove the mask rule, and people become more active. The rise in numbers is within the expected range, and we have not detected any new variant. So, I would say there is no need to panic or get worried. At the same time, it is important to keep testing so that if a sudden surge comes somewhere, we will come to know of it in time. It is also important to be careful and follow COIVD appropriate behaviour; wear mask, avoid crowded spaces, get fully vaccinated and booster shots as and when eligible.
Covid pandemic not over yet: Experts
“At this moment, we can’t be relaxed because the pandemic is not over yet. We are definitely in a strong position due to high levels of hybrid immunity among the general public. However, this is not the time to remove face masks because there are elderly and immunocompromised individuals who still need protection,”
COVID19 Wave | Dr. Rakesh Mishra, on chances of propagation of new covid variants.