With a lot of talks and rumours hovering over the social media, the facts have crashed all the tales that follow COVID -19 this summer. The status of this disease or the fast pandemic is uncontrollable unless the government takes extreme steps and quick prepositions to proactive measures. Is India prepared to face this avalanche, that is spreading as fast as the wildfire is an unanswered question left in our minds?
Researchers said the new virus, against which there is no natural immunity yet in humans, could continue to spread within populations via respiratory droplets and close contact.
The new coronavirus, in all likelihood, will live through the summer in India and re-emerge next winter.
The World Health Organisation and experts currently involved in research and treatment have said that the virus, SARS-CoV-2, which is the third highly pathogenic human coronavirus. Unfortunately, it is said to impact the planet in the last two decades after SARS and MERS, can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid weather.
Researchers said the new virus, against which there is no natural immunity yet in humans, could continue to spread within populations via respiratory droplets and close contact. These droplets, ejected by a cough or sneeze, may not last long in the open in the April or
May heat. However, the experts insisted that instead of hoping for some favourable weather, shutting down of public spaces and discouraging of mass gatherings are important steps in curbing fresh infections.
Additionally, even if the virus loses potency in the summer, chances are that it could show up again as winter returns, they said.
“It will not dissipate in the summer. All focus must be on contact tracing and quarantine,” said Annelies Wilder-Smith, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Experts said data from countries such as India, given the varied climate, will be crucial to understanding the new virus.
David Cennimo, who studies infectious diseases at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told TOI,
“Many are hoping that warmer weather will decrease transmission of the virus.
However, this is a hope, not a fact. Endemic coronaviruses and influenza have been in our populations for years, and have equilibrated.
When a new pathogen is introduced, there are so many susceptible people it can spread to exponentially and not achieve equilibrium for some time. Further, there are warm climates continuing to see the transmission.”
Cennimo added, “We do have concerns that the virus can establish in the population and become another endemic virus. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus continues to be in circulation to this day. So, we may well see Covid-19 next winter.”
Another senior pulmonologist with a major hospital chain in the country said, “No one has dismissed the possibility of transmission through summer. Prepare for it. We have to use this time to shore up resources and spread awareness.”
Preparation is a step towards prevention and away from COVID -19.