With COVID-appropriate behaviour, cases can be brought down: Rakesh Mishra
With COVID-appropriate behaviour — three-layer face masks, social distancing, hand hygiene and vaccination — along with current restrictions on movement or gatherings, it is quite possible to bring down the caseload in the next two-three weeks. “But, we could also see a lot of damage during this time,” said CSIR-Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) Director Rakesh Mishra.
“We know how this virus spreads and how to stop this. With more vaccinations, we are hopeful of controlling the pandemic and perhaps, we can manage better and ensure there won’t be disastrous peaks like what we are experiencing now, in two months. The virus is smart and is certainly not going to vanish but could become like the common cold. We may be getting drugs to treat it sometime ahead,” he observed.
Along with the ‘social vaccine’, the miracle of medical vaccines which have come out within a year should offer protection for several months and even up to a year, so, unless someone has been seriously ill in recent times, the jabs should be taken, he asserted.
In a virtual discussion thrown open to the public over the weekend, Dr. Mishra and fellow scientists Divya Tej S, and Karthik Bharadwaj explained about the nature of the coronavirus, transmission, mutations, common myths and vaccinations in more than an hour-long interaction. They were clear that the infections are predominantly transmitted from person to person through air and to a much lesser extent from touching steel or plastic surfaces where the virus can stay for at least a day.
COVID does not spread through air outside but indoors in closed environment of rooms, restaurants, cinema halls, etc., and certainly not through drinking water. More infections have been happening among the younger people this time because of the opening of educational institutions and other sectors of the economy as this section was not infected last year, they said.
The director said “masks can not only protect you from COVID-19 but also from many air-borne diseases, common cold, pollutants in this second wave. The symptoms and mortality rates among those infected is not significantly different from what was noticed in the first wave last year”.
“Avoid indoor places where there is no air circulation like restaurants, bars and cinemas. Even if you have to go, get out of there fast and strictly avoid any kind of parties whether a wedding or birthday, religious and political gatherings or events are a strict no-no. Don’t talk to anyone without mask outside. Don’t bother much about virus variants and take the vaccine as it is safer compared to the COVID-19 infection,” said Dr. Mishra.
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