Covid-19 cases has surged in Punjab since March first week (IE Image)
Covid experts at Punjab is expecting the peak of the second wave of the pandemic to be worse than the earlier peak. The government’s health adviser and expert committee head Dr KK Talwar find the new UK strain of Covid-19 to be more infectious than the earlier strain but not as dangerous as the original form that caused the pandemic.
Talking to the Indian Express, Dr Talwar mentioned that the state was concerned about any mutation in the Covid strain that would have resulted in the surge in cases. On Tuesday, 81 per cent of the samples sent for genome sequencing turned positive further proving Dr Talwar’s point about the UK strain being more infectious.
He further said that the mutant UK strain was found in samples that were three months old. The first sample was collected in January and sent for genome sequencing. It is also after pestering for long did the Centre provide the report that confirmed the presence of the UK strain. The committee is expecting the peak to arrive by the last week of March after which it will start going down.
Further opening-up of colleges has contributed to the spike in Covid-19 cases as the data reveals that the young college-going lot has contracted the infection in most cases, said Dr Talwar. Free mixing without taking safety measures resulted in the spread of the virus, he opined.
Moreover resuming public gatherings like weddings and functions and people not complying with wearing masks has been the reason why more number of people are getting infected now, said Dr Talwar. So far the committee has given suggestions to the government to shut schools and colleges and a clearer picture is expected in the next 7 to 10 days.
Till then Dr Talwar advised people to follow the guidelines as it is and mask up. The health adviser further informed that the virus spread faster in a closed environment. It is time again for people to limit socialising, for the time being, he added.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has yesterday asked states to ramp up RT-PCR tests and declare containment zines at districts. However, there has been no curbs on an intrastate or interstate public or vehicle movement and on the operation of public places like gyms, restaurants etc.