New variant a challenge for vaccination drive worldwide if allowed to spread, says expert
Srinagar, Sep 4: The COVID-19 cases are on rise in Srinagar district, of 116 people who tested positive for the pestilence on Saturday, 47 were from Srinagar. The district contributed 40% of the total cases in Jammu and Kashmir.
An expert while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Marriage season in the district is in full swing and it seems to be one of the apparent reasons for the increase in the COVID-19 cases in Srinagar. People should realize that the pandemic has not ended yet and the third wave has arrived in different states across the country. They need to take precautions and follow the SOPs in letter and spirit.”
He said, “Signs of the third wave are visible and we need to exercise precaution before we once again get caught in the Covid wrangles. The second wave spread like wildfire and within no time it engulfed us all. We need to learn from the mistakes that we committed in the past. Vaccinations have helped people as their immunity has increased. But we cannot become complacent. We should realize that the virus can raise its ugly head again.”
A wire agency quoting a virologist Upasana Ray from Kolkata’s CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology stated: “The new variant is a result of numerous mutations accumulated in C.1.2 line in the spike protein which makes it a lot different than the original virus that was identified in Wuhan, China in 2019. It could be more transmissible and has potential to spread fast. Since there are so many mutations in the spike protein, it could result in immune escape and thus a challenge for the vaccination drive worldwide if allowed to spread.”
An official of the J&K administration said, “We are monitoring the situation. There has been a rise in cases in the Srinagar district. It’s not alarming but cases are increasing. The administration has put all the arrangements at place but people need to be careful. They can’t take things for granted.”
He said, “The Covid guidelines need to be followed. People should realize that their safety is in their own hands. None of us can take the COVID-19 lightly. Marriage season is on in Srinagar. Hosts need to limit the number of guests. The guidelines have already been issued and these need to be adhered to. If the people fail to cooperate, the administration will be left with no other option other than enforcing the Covid norms through law enforcing agencies.”