COVID spread may subside by August, 3rd wave less likely: Ex-director of ICMR virology centre

By K.A Johny

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“ There is no need to worry as long as number of deaths and hospital occupancy rates remain low.”

Dr T Jacob John, Ex-director of ICMR virology centre

Kozhikode: Covid-19 cases have been increasing consistently in Kerala. However, Dr T Jacob John, an eminent virologist and former director of the ICMR’s Centre of Advanced Research in Virology thinks that COVID situation will not turn into a grim episode.

Dr John in an exclusive interview with stated that the present spread in Kerala may subside by August.

According to him, low hospital occupancy rates associated with COVID -19 despite the high positivity rate suggest the infection is not so virulent.

“ There is no need to worry as long as a number of deaths and hospital occupancy rates remain low.”

“At the national level the second wave happened while South Africa was witnessing the third wave and when England was facing the fourth wave. So the chance of a third wave in India is less likely. Even when second wave ravaged India, situation was under control in Kerala,” he added.

Dr John referred to his assessment as an “intelligent guess” and pinpointed that any new variant that widely spreads like Delta variant has not been identified. However, samples from different regions need to be rigorously sequenced to identify whether new variants are present.

He reiterated his earlier stand on stringent lockdowns in Kerala.

“The question is whether we have gained anything from stringent lockdowns. That does not mean we can conduct mass gathering events like Kumbh Mela. We can have precautions, but I don’t think lockdown should be continued like this,” he added.

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