COVID-19 Outbreak: New Coronavirus Strains In The Country Could Be More Dangerous, Says Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS- Delhi | News

February 24, 2021 0 Comments



As COVID cases rise and new strains of the coronavirus is found, is this the second wave of infections? Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS explains

Highlights
  • It is natural for a virus to mutate: Dr Guleria
  • New strains have emerged in the country: Maharashtra COVID Task Force
  • COVID-appropriate behaviour needs to be maintained all the time: Dr Guleria

New Delhi: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the country has been recording a spike in daily active cases of COVID-19 since February 18. On Monday (February 22), active coronavirus cases increased by 4,421 in 24 hours – a spike of three per cent – to cross the 1.5 lakh mark for the first time in 17 days and register the steepest overall increase since end-November. The spike in national numbers comes as five states – Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, report an increase in daily numbers, says the central government. The reason behind this spike could be new strains of mutated coronavirus that have been emerging across the country and almost 240 such variants have come into the view, says the Maharashtra COVID Task Force. So as witnessed in UK and other European countries is this a second wave of the pandemic for India?

Also Read: N440K And E484Q, Two New Variants Of Novel Coronavirus Detected In India: Health Ministry

Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Delhi highlights that coronavirus, like all other viruses, has a tendency to mutate as it multiplies. While some mutations are inconsequential, some may make the virus more contagious or dangerous or both, he said. However, he also said that the negligence on part of people in following preventive measures like not wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distance, may also lead to a surge in cases.

In the last many months, we have seen that the coronavirus has been mutating and we have seen strains becoming very infectious like the ones that emerged in United Kingdom, South Africa and in Brazil. But I think the surge is also related to multiple factors including the COVID appropriate behaviour which has also come down. Because of this, we are seeing a spike in various places in the country. This is something we need to be concerned about and take aggressive actions so that we are able to contain it right now rather than having an increasing number of cases in the rest of the country, said Dr Guleria.

Talking about the rising cases in Amravati, Maharashtra and other districts where clusters of people are testing positive and the positivity rate (percentage of people who test positive out of all of the tests done) in these areas have gone up exponentially, Dr Guleria said,

Clusters of cases occur when people do not follow the preventive measures properly. If you are not wearing a mask or not maintaining physical distance or not washing hands regularly, then you will have a high risk of getting the infection. And if you are giving a chance to the virus to spread, it will cause clusters of cases.

Emphasizing the need for adopting COVID-19 norms in order to prevent the spread of new strains, Dr Guleria said,

I think we need to go back to the things we were doing during the early days of the pandemic- aggressive measures of testing, contact tracing and isolating infections so that the chain of transmission is broken. It is not being done as aggressively as it was being done in the past. We have to understand that the virus is going to change and we should not take things casually.

Also Read: COVID Antibodies Are Transferred From Pregnant Women To Their Babies

Explaining that such setbacks in the fight against the pandemic are expected Dr Guleria said that complacency should be avoided at all cost. He busted the myth of “herd immunity developing in the country” and asserted,

Even if you look at the data collected during sero-surveillance studies across the country, it clearly suggests that the number of people who have got the immunity across the country is still not enough to cause herd immunity. Only 20-25 per cent of the population in India has developed immunity against COVID-19, however, you need at least 80 per cent of people have the antibodies to say that we are reaching herd immunity.

Dr Guleria further explained that herd immunity should be given much importance because it is dependent upon the immunity developed against the original virus but when there are numerous mutations that have occurred in the virus, then the immune response will fall and thus the person who already has the antibodies gets reinfection.

We have to look for other strategies to defeat the pandemic rather than waiting for herd immunity, he said.

As one of the strategies, Dr Guleria recommends increasing genome sequencing of the coronavirus which is the process of studying the genetic make-up of the virus to identify mutations. He emphasised on having more data on virus genomes to be able to find what all strains of coronavirus are floating in different parts of the country. This data will not only help the policymakers and health authorities in making effective strategies to contain the transmission but will also provide vital insights for developing efficient vaccines that can cover the new variants, he said.

Also Read: ‘Casual And Careless’ Behaviour Of People Resulted In Rise In COVID-19 Cases: Indore Health Official

Immune Escape Mechanism Of New Strains Is A Cause Of Concern

According to Dr Guleria, new variants of coronavirus develop immune escape mechanism which helps the virus to bypass the immune response that the human body has already developed because of previous COVID-19 infection or vaccines. Because of this, the virus is able to cause reinfections despite the body having antibodies. He further said,

Data suggests that some of the vaccines may still be effective although the efficacy may come down. We need to be careful because more of the new strains may emerge when we start vaccinating more and more people which would cause it to mutate and try and develop immune escape mechanism.

Dr Guleria added that there is always a possibility of another wave of infection facing the country. He said,

We are at a good positing right now but if we have new strains that can cause reinfections, there is a chance of another wave of infections.

Also Read: COVID-19 Variant N440K Spreading More In Southern States: Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

11,21,05,593Cases

4,63,33,994Active

6,32,86,507Recovered

24,85,092Deaths

Coronavirus has spread to 192 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 11,21,05,593 and 24,85,092 have died; 4,63,33,994 are active cases and 6,32,86,507 have recovered as on February 24, 2021 at 4:02 am.

India

1,10,30,176 13742Cases

1,46,907 -399Active

1,07,26,702 14037Recovered

1,56,567 104Deaths

In India, there are 1,10,30,176 confirmed cases including 1,56,567 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,46,907 and 1,07,26,702 have recovered as on February 24, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

DistrictCases

Mumbai45,478

Thane13,660

Pune9,920

Mumbai Suburban5,363

Aurangabad1,974

Nashik1,575

Raigad1,462

Palghar1,421

Solapur1,291

Jalgaon1,039

Akola757

Nagpur692

Kolhapur646

Satara629

Ratnagiri350

Amravati291

Dhule228

Hingoli208

Jalna201

Ahmednagar190

Nanded176

Yavatmal150

Sangli145

Latur139

Osmanabad125

Sindhudurg114

Buldhana88

Parbhani78

gondia69

Beed54

Nandurbar42

Gadchiroli42

Bhandara41

Chandrapur32

Washim13

Wardha11

21,12,312 6,218

54,604 298

20,05,851 5,869

51,857 51

DistrictCases

Kannur357

Kasaragod333

Palakkad224

Malappuram119

Kollam118

Thrissur106

Thiruvananthapuram104

Pathanamthitta98

Kozhikode90

Alappuzha76

Kottayam73

Ernakulam60

Idukki40

Wayanad36

10,40,903 4,034

54,949 803

9,81,835 4,823

4,119 14

DistrictCases

Udupi1,176

Kalaburagi669

Yadgir538

Bengaluru Urban529

Raichur369

Mandya346

Belagavi337

Bidar219

Hassan205

Davangere204

Vijayapura201

Dakshina Kannada179

Chikkaballapura149

Mysuru107

Bagalkote103

Uttara Kannada95

Shivamogga67

Dharwad61

Ballari60

Gadag45

Bengaluru Rural40

Tumakuru36

Kolar29

Haveri24

Chikkamagaluru19

Chitradurga14

Koppal5

Kodagu4

Ramanagara3

Chamarajanagara0

9,48,849 383

6,081 1

9,30,465 378

12,303 4

DistrictCases

Kurnool795

Krishna557

Guntur511

Anantapur428

East Godavari356

Chittoor319

Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296

Y.S.R.205

West Godavari199

Srikakulam183

Prakasam104

Visakhapatnam103

Vizianagaram23

8,89,409 70

575 15

8,81,666 84

7,168 1

DistrictCases

Chennai23,324

Chengalpattu1,314

Thiruvallur774

Villupuram509

Kanchipuram503

Tiruvannamalai496

Cuddalore477

Ariyalur444

Tirunelveli433

Tuticorin333

Kallakurichi324

Madurai322

Salem258

Coimbatore188

Virudhunagar185

Dindigul175

Perambalur133

Ranipet133

Thanjavur130

Theni129

Tiruchirappalli119

Ramanathapuram119

Tiruppur116

Kanniyakumari110

Tenkasi103

Nagapattinam99

Karur88

Namakkal83

Erode75

Vellore71

Thiruvarur67

Pudukkottai53

Sivaganga46

Tirupathur45

Krishnagiri43

The Nilgiris17

Dharmapuri15

8,49,166 442

4,074 17

8,32,620 453

12,472 6

DistrictCases

North West5,463

Central4,817

West4,768

New Delhi3,405

North3,059

East2,472

South East2,446

South West2,391

South2,329

North East1,914

Shahdara1,580

6,38,173 145

1,009 32

6,26,261 175

10,903 2

DistrictCases

Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119

Agra933

Ghaziabad794

Meerut504

Lucknow386

Saharanpur298

Kanpur Nagar286

Moradabad252

Varanasi243

Hapur225

Aligarh215

Basti214

Amethi206

Rampur203

Jaunpur194

Firozabad190

Barabanki168

Gorakhpur166

Bulandshahr166

Siddharth Nagar159

Ghazipur159

Bijnor157

Deoria143

Azamgarh138

Sant Kabeer Nagar132

Mathura129

Ayodhya120

Muzaffarnagar117

Sambhal116

Sultanpur97

Ambedkar Nagar92

Maharajganj85

Amroha80

Rae Bareli78

Bahraich73

Kheri72

Kannauj69

Baghpat68

Kushi Nagar67

Bhadohi60

Ballia60

Gonda59

Etah52

Hardoi49

Balrampur49

Mau48

Mainpuri46

Etawah46

Hathras43

Unnao42

Jalaun41

Jhansi41

Shamli40

Chandauli38

Auraiya37

Farrukhabad36

Sitapur32

Prayagraj30

Banda27

Shahjahanpur25

Shravasti23

Budaun23

Mirzapur22

Bareilly17

Kasganj16

Pratapgarh15

Pilibhit15

Sonbhadra10

Kaushambi6

Kanpur Dehat4

Chitrakoot4

Lalitpur3

Hamirpur3

Mahoba3

Fatehpur3

6,02,975 106

2,268 98

5,91,989 202

8,718 2

DistrictCases

Kolkata2,777

Howrah1,435

24 Paraganas North1,031

Hooghly604

24 Paraganas South281

Maldah235

Dinajpur Uttar216

Coochbehar210

Birbhum206

Medinipur West159

Medinipur East153

Nadia139

Purba Bardhaman130

Murshidabad125

Bankura116

Darjeeling97

Jalpaiguri88

Paschim Bardhaman70

Purulia66

Dinajpur Dakshin50

Alipurduar39

Kalimpong18

Jhargram9

5,74,099 189

3,399 41

5,60,447 228

10,253 2

DistrictCases

Ganjam581

Jajapur322

Khordha238

Baleshwar190

Kendrapara164

Cuttack155

Bhadrak137

Balangir129

Puri103

Sundargarh102

Jagatsinghapur91

Nayagarh86

Mayurbhanj73

Nuapada69

Gajapati61

Dhenkanal36

Boudh34

Kendujhar34

Deogarh33

Kalahandi33

Sonepur29

Kandhamal28

Anugul26

Malkangiri20

Bargarh16

Koraput16

Sambalpur16

Jharsuguda8

Nabarangpur2

Rayagada2

3,36,767 62

610 15

3,34,243 77

1,914

DistrictCases

Jaipur2,177

Jodhpur1,748

Udaipur724

Bharatpur563

Kota503

Nagaur500

Ajmer379

Dungarpur374

Pali352

Jhalawar329

Bhilwara250

Sikar231

Chittorgarh188

Tonk171

Jalore164

Rajsamand140

Sirohi130

Bikaner112

Banswara91

Alwar90

Churu81

Jhunjhunu64

Dausa61

Dholpur60

Baran59

Jaisalmer53

Barmer34

Hanumangarh31

SawaiMadhopur26

Karauli17

Pratapgarh14

Ganganagar8

Bundi5

3,19,702 76

1,195 11

3,15,722 87

2,785

DistrictCases

Bilaspur100

Korba100

Mungeli87

Baloda Bazar85

Jashpur77

Janjgir-Champa56

Mahasamund54

Rajnandgaon52

Kabirdham52

Raigarh47

Raipur46

Balod41

Korea39

Durg31

Bemetara21

Kanker19

Balrampur17

Surguja14

Gariyaband10

Surajpur9

Dhamtari6

Bijapur2

Bastar2

Dantewada0

Kondagaon0

Narayanpur0

Sukma0

3,11,433 274

2,977 21

3,04,647 292

3,809 3

DistrictCases

Hyderabad2,475

Ranga Reddy183

Suryapet87

Jagitial77

Nizamabad76

MedchalMalkajgiri75

Mancherial43

YadadriBhuvanagiri40

Jogulamba Gadwal40

Vikarabad40

Nalgonda33

Warangal Urban32

Mahabubnagar30

Sangareddy26

Khammam26

Adilabad22

Nirmal21

Karimnagar17

RajannaSircilla16

Medak11

Kamareddy11

Mahabubabad10

Jayashankar Bhupalapally9

Nagarkurnool8

Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8

Jangoan8

Siddipet7

Peddapalli5

Bhadradri Kothagudem5

Warangal Rural4

Mulugu3

Narayanpet3

Wanaparthy1

2,98,057 196

1,745 48

2,94,683 146

1,629 2

DistrictCases

Gurugram2,950

Faridabad867

Sonipat404

Rohtak145

Palwal120

Jhajjar114

Karnal104

Hisar98

Ambala93

Panipat78

Nuh68

Bhiwani60

Rewari56

Kurukshetra55

Sirsa50

Kaithal48

Mahendragarh47

CharkiDadri43

Panchkula39

Fatehabad38

Jind38

Yamunanagar19

2,69,967 131

908 34

2,66,017 97

3,042

DistrictCases

Ahmadabad17,125

Surat2,311

Vadodara1,555

Gandhinagar410

Mahesana159

Banas Kantha147

Bhavnagar146

Rajkot135

Arvalli134

Mahisagar125

Anand107

PanchMahals107

Patan105

SabarKantha101

Kachchh99

Kheda98

Jamnagar63

Bharuch56

Botad55

Surendranagar55

Valsad47

GirSomnath45

Dohad43

Chhotaudepur37

Naysari35

Junagadh31

Narmada25

DevbhumiDwarka22

Amreli16

Porbandar11

Tapi6

Dang5

Morbi4

2,67,767 348

1,786 54

2,61,575 294

4,406

DistrictCases

Patna279

Bhagalpur266

Rohtas256

Khagaria253

Begusarai243

Madhubani199

Munger188

Jehanabad178

Katihar175

Darbhanga143

Samastipur139

Siwan139

PurbiChamparan138

Purnia135

Banka134

Buxar134

Nalanda123

Gopalganj123

Nawada122

Sheikhpura118

Gaya115

Kaimur (bhabua)105

Bhojpur103

Saran101

Muzaffarpur96

Saharsa88

Supaul87

Vaishali87

Madhepura82

Kishanganj75

Aurangabad75

Sitamarhi73

Lakhisarai72

Araria68

Pashchim Champaran57

Arwal52

Jamui47

Sheohar20

2,62,303 59

548 13

2,60,218 71

1,537 1

DistrictCases

Indore3,839

Bhopal1,880

Ujjain799

Burhanpur351

Neemuch319

Jabalpur276

East Nimar266

Sagar228

Gwalior211

Khargone196

Dewas140

Dhar132

Mandsaur112

Morena109

Bhind87

Raisen71

Barwani60

Ratlam51

Rewa39

Shajapur39

Hoshangabad37

Vidisha37

Chhatarpur35

Betul35

Rajgarh31

Dindori29

Sheopur26

Damoh26

Satna24

Anuppur22

Panna20

Tikamgarh18

Sidhi17

Narsinghpur17

Chhindwara16

Agar Malwa15

Mandla15

Shivpuri15

Jhabua14

Shandol14

Singrauli13

Ashoknagar13

Datia12

Sehore12

Umaria10

Balaghat9

Guna8

Harda4

Alirajpur3

Katni3

Seoni2

Niwari0

2,59,969 248

2,151 47

2,53,963 200

3,855 1

DistrictCases

Kamrup Metro276

Golaghat203

Nagaon143

Hojai89

Dima Hasao86

Karimganj85

Tinsukia84

Cachar80

Dibrugarh61

Hailakandi57

Lakhimpur57

Marigaon50

Dhemaji47

Kamrup42

Kokrajhar37

Dhubri30

Charaideo29

Barpeta28

Udalguri28

Sonitpur27

Jorhat24

Nalbari23

Darrang20

Sivasagar20

Goalpara19

Biswanath16

Baksa14

KarbiAnglong13

Bongaigaon12

Chirang6

West KarbiAnglong5

South SalmaraMancachar4

Majuli2

2,17,427 21

1,604 1

2,14,732 20

1,091

DistrictCases

Amritsar485

Jalandhar297

Ludhiana293

Tarn Taran163

Gurdaspur154

Hoshiarpur140

S.A.S Nagar137

Patiala132

Sangrur107

Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99

Pathankot86

Rupnagar (Ropar)74

Faridkot74

Sri Muktsar Sahib71

Moga65

Bathinda60

Fatehgarh Sahib57

Fazilka53

Firozepur50

Kapurthala44

Mansa31

Barnala25

1,79,261 414

3,295 128

1,70,187 276

5,779 10

DistrictCases

Anantnag395

Srinagar300

Kulgam295

Baramulla271

Shopian255

Kupwara231

Bandipora175

Udhampur155

Ramban151

Jammu138

Budgam110

Pulwama108

Kathua53

Rajouri39

Ganderbal37

Poonch35

Doda27

Reasi26

Samba25

Kishtwar10

Mirpur0

Muzaffarabad0

1,26,019 94

766 31

1,23,298 62

1,955 1

DistrictCases

East Singhbum170

Ranchi148

Hazaribagh110

Garhwa80

Ramgarh75

Koderma58

Simdega48

Dhanbad32

Gumla28

Palamu27

West Singhbhum21

SaraikelaKharsawan20

Giridih19

Bokaro16

Latehar14

Khunti10

Lohardaga8

Deoghar5

Dumka5

Pakur4

Jamtara2

Godda2

Chatra1

Sahebganj0

1,19,687 50

447 1

1,18,154 51

1,086

DistrictCases

Dehradun370

Nainital323

Tehri Garhwal110

Haridwar94

Udam Singh Nagar83

Almora71

Champawat45

Pithoragarh43

Chamoli36

PauriGarhwal36

Bageshwar31

Rudraprayag30

Uttar Kashi24

97,031

491 1

94,850

1,690 1

DistrictCases

Hamirpur117

Kangra105

Una41

Solan32

Chamba29

Bilaspur21

Mandi21

Sirmaur11

Shimla10

Kullu4

Kinnaur2

Lahaul And Spiti0

58,423 20

218 9

57,210 29

995

DistrictCases

South Goa69

North Goa57

54,648 57

479 15

53,381 41

788 1

DistrictCases

Pondicherry111

Mahe4

Karaikal2

Yanam0

39,628 28

179 5

38,784 21

665 2

DistrictCases

Dhalai196

Sepahijala174

Gomati74

South Tripura53

Unakoti49

West Tripura45

Khowai24

North Tripura14

33,400 2

47 2

32,962

391

DistrictCases

Churachandpur32

Kangpokpi26

Imphal West21

Thoubal18

Imphal East10

Tengnoupal9

Bishnupur7

Senapati6

Chandel5

Kamjong5

Ukhrul4

Jiribam3

Pherzawl3

Kakching2

Tamenglong2

Noney1

29,243 3

36 13

28,834 16

373

DistrictCases

Chandigarh313

21,500 37

227 22

20,923 15

350

DistrictCases

Changlang31

Papum Pare8

Lohit3

Namsai2

West Siang1

East Siang1

Upper Siang1

Tawang1

PakkeKessang1

West Kameng0

Upper Subansiri0

Tirap0

Siang0

Shi Yomi0

Anjaw0

Lower Subansiri0

Lower Dibang Valley0

Longding0

Leparada0

KurungKumey0

KraDaadi0

Kamle0

East Kameng0

Dibang Valley0

Lower Siang0

16,836

4 1

16,776 1

56

DistrictCases

East Khasi Hills22

West Garo Hills5

South West Garo Hills4

North Garo Hills1

West Jaintia Hills1

West Khasi Hills1

East Garo Hills0

East Jaintia Hills0

Ribhoi0

South Garo Hills0

South West Khasi Hills0

13,955 1

20 2

13,787 3

148

DistrictCases

Dimapur20

Mon8

Kohima7

Kiphire3

Tuensang3

Peren2

Phek1

Longleng0

Mokokchung0

Wokha0

Zunheboto0

12,192

12 0

12,089

91

DistrictCases

Kargil77

LehLadakh43

9,796 9

45 8

9,621 1

130

DistrictCases

East District3

South District3

North District0

West District0

6,132

47 2

5,950 2

135

DistrictCases

South Andamans33

Nicobars1

North And Middle Andaman1

5,016 1

5 1

4,949

62

DistrictCases

Kolasib11

Aizawl10

Mamit8

Lawngtlai2

Lunglei2

Saitual1

Champhai0

Hnahthial0

Khawzawl0

Saiha0

Serchhip0

4,413 3

24 3

4,379

10

DistrictCases

Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3,402

2 2

3,398 2

2

DistrictCases

Lakshadweep District0

316 21

80 0

236 21

0





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