Srinagar, Sep 28: Union Health Ministry has made it explicitly clear that India is far from achieving “herd immunity” vis-à-vis COVID-19 and the possibilities of re-infection are being looked into.
A medico while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “People developing herd immunity won’t be possible so soon. The surveys which have been carried out in the COVID affected areas reveal that developing herd immunity could take years. If we want to save ourselves from getting infected from COVID, we have to take precautions at least till the vaccine comes.”
He said, “Since the day pandemic has broken out many things have changed. During the initial days we were unaware about the behavior of the virus. Nor did we know how deadly COVID could be. But during the past seven months we have realized that mortality rate is not that high and the patients are recovering.”
Another medico said, “After getting infected first 10-days are crucial. The asymptomatic and symptomatic patients who don’t fall critically sick during the ten days do survive and in more than 90% of the cases it has been observed that people do survive. But one thing is for sure that it’s a very contagious virus and spreads at a very fast pace.”
He said that its spread can be contained by following the COVID protocol in letter and spirit. “The ICMR has said that the COVID vaccine would come into the market by early 2021, but people in Kashmir should bear it in mind that the vaccine won’t reach the Valley so fast. We will have to wait. Besides getting ready to face COVID-19 we should be prepared to tackle harsh winter season which is approaching fast. Another factor is re-infection, if the people who have recovered start getting re-infected it will lead to a catastrophe and it will be a big test for all of us,” the medico said.
Another doctor said, “The government revising the COVID guidelines and keeping space open in hospitals for the critically ill patients is a wise decision. We have to remain prepared. In winter flu is a common thing and flu plus COVID could prove deadly. People will have to remain extra cautious. As far as the vaccine is concerned we cannot rely on it till we become sure that it’s working and is acting as a protection.”
He said that for time being “we have to keep our fingers crossed and have to be watchful.”