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Bengaluru: Don't let guard down against new strain, say doctors

Don’t let guard down against new strain, say doctors
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 Don’t let guard down against new strain, say doctors

Highlights

After State Health Minister K. Sudhakar announced that seven people who returned to Karnataka from the UK were found to be infected with the mutated strain of coronavirus the people are apprehensive of a possibility of a second wave of Covid.

Bengaluru: After State Health Minister K. Sudhakar announced that seven people who returned to Karnataka from the UK were found to be infected with the mutated strain of coronavirus the people are apprehensive of a possibility of a second wave of Covid. In order to ward off the threat doctors suggest that one should not lower the guard while taking precautionary steps like sanitising hands and wearing masks.

Dr Suri Raju V, Medical Director, Regal Multi-speciality Hospital, stated that though it is known and expected that viruses constantly change through mutation leading to the emergence of new variants, preliminary analysis suggests that this variant is significantly more transmissible.

"Initial findings suggest this variant could increase the reproduction number – the rate at which it spreads – by 0.4 at least. This means there could be a further four infections for every 10 people infected, with an increased transmissibility of up to 70 per cent.

Given that more infections would mean more people become seriously ill from Covid-19, which in turns means more strain on hospitals. The government could be forced to apply severe restrictions for longer periods if there is a new strain in the community that spreads faster. Except for its transmissibility pace it has not yet been established whether this new strain has more virulence compared to the previous strain of Covid 19 virus," Suri Raju explained.

Dr Jagadish Hiremath, Medical Director of Ace Suhas Multi Speciality hospital stated that the mutated coronavirus has increased transmissibility, however, it is not more virulent than the previous strain thus precautions which are otherwise advised for Covid-19 in general should continue to be adopted.

He suggested that all international flights should be cancelled as a new strain of virus has been detected in South Africa.

"No matter how the virus changes, it needs us to be close enough to each other and to have interactions to let it jump between us. If we don't give the virus those opportunities, it simply can't spread no matter what variant it is. In other words, standard control measures such as wearing masks and physical distancing will still work. When people don't understand certain things there is possibility of rumours. So keep taking all the non pharmacological measures seriously and wear mask at all times when in public space so that one would not jeopardize his/her health and risk other people, There are still many people roaming without mask such people should be stringently penalized to set precedent," he said.

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