Second wave of Covid-19 infections is bound to happen, say experts | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: With Kerala and Maharashtra staring at what is being termed a second wave of Covid-19 infections, cases are bound to similarly spiral in other states too at some time or the other, experts from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu say.
While participating in a panel discussion titled ‘Coronavirus, its variants and vaccination’ organised by Neuberg Diagnostics on Thursday, experts said a second wave “is inevitable”.
On whether India is already facing a second wave, Dr V Ramasubramanian, infectious diseases specialist, Apollo Hospital, Chennai, pointed out that most countries including the UK and US, which are ahead of India in number of cases by three or four months, had a second wave.
“I don’t see any reason why India will not have a second wave,” said Dr Ramasubramanian. “But it’s possible the severity of a second wave would be milder in India compared to other countries because the population in India is much younger.”
Dr V Ravi, former HOD, department of neurovirology, Nimhans and Karnataka Covid task force member, concurred, saying India will not escape a second wave. “The general feeling among the public is that we are over the hill,” Dr Ravi said. “But the virus will catch up with everyone sooner or later.”
He said people behave responsibly and testing is also pursued aggressively only when there is a huge surge. “But once the wave subsides, complacency creeps in,” Dr Ravi said. “Kerala is an example. It did not increase testing proportionally when there was a surge. For any respiratory pandemic, there will be a second wave.”
Dr Ramasubramanian revealed that when cases were spiking in Tamil Nadu in mid-2020, there was a lot of pressure to reduce testing to keep the numbers low. “But the experts didn’t give in and continued to conduct widespread testing. However, Kerala lost out on that aspect,” he said.
Citing the example of Karnataka, Dr Ravi said the state tested a minimum 10 contacts of a positive case. “With that we were able to conduct 1.2 lakh tests a day. Now, it has come down to 75,000 tests a day,” he said.
He said the state health department had asked the technical expert committee if testing can be reduced as it is resource intensive, but the answer was “no”. “If we conduct fewer tests, there will be a surge. Testing is a powerful tool to stay ahead of the virus. We must chase every symptomatic person and test as s/he has a greater propensity to spread the virus compared to an asymptomatic carrier,” said Dr Ravi.

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Sagar Biswas

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