COVID-19 to stay with us for generations, says IIPH Director Prof. G V S Murthy

PTI, May 27, 2021, 12:55 PM IST

Bengaluru: Like the flu, COVID-19 is here to stay for generations, according to the Director of the Indian Institute of Public Health-Hyderabad, Prof. G V S Murthy.

Available data from different states suggests that June-end may see a significant downward spiral in COVID-19 cases in south and west India, he said.

”In north and east India, it may be mid-July for a significant decrease in the cases”, Prof. Murthy told P T I on Thursday.

Allowing political, social and religious gatherings too early in the life of the pandemic is one of the prime reasons for the rapid fueling of cases in the second wave, according to him.

Despite signals emerging from February that we could see an upswing of cases, prompt public health response was lacking, he said, adding this is because public health professionals have not been engaged in the response.

”In all countries where the COVID-19 response was quick and need-based, there was authority and responsibility vested in the public health leadership. Unfortunately, the same was not seen in India where it was more of a non-public health or political response,” Prof. Murthy said.

He said COVID-19 is here to stay with us for a long time.

An infectious agent once introduced into the community, continues to simmer and lead to localised outbreaks.

”Flu has been with us for generations now and the same will be the course of COVID-19,” he said.

He is of the view that outbreaks will occur whenever a large number of people susceptible to the infection are available.

”We know that post the COVID-19 infection, immunity is only for a short duration of 3-6 months, after which the same person is vulnerable to getting reinfected. The reinfection will depend on the viral load to which the susceptible person is exposed to. We have seen some Chief Ministers and national leaders also getting infected a second time. So nobody is permanently immune,” Prof. Murthy said.

According to him, it will take five to six months for the next COVID-19 wave to occur as, by then, the population immunity will once again wane off.

”So November could again be a worrying time”.

In pandemics, it is the older and more infirm people who succumb first, but with each succeeding wave, more of the middle-aged and younger people, including children, get infected.

This is the danger of the next wave, he said.

”If the country can vaccinate more than 80 per cent of those above 30 years of age by November, we will be able to mount an effective challenge to the spread of COVID,” Prof.

Murthy said.

At the same time, efforts should be made to field-test available vaccines in children so that if possible, the vaccine can be added to the ‘Universal Programme of Immunisation’ in the country.

Prof. Murthy underlined that there needs to be a continued ban on large gatherings till February 2022 if we have to reduce the risk.

Schools and offices can be opened up with adequate precautions.

”If the country does not create a public health cadre with adequate decision-making authority being vested in them, from the district-level onwards, we will always be playing a catch-up game rather than planning proactively with adequate projections and data,” he opined.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan dies aged 97

Economic Survey suggests govt to follow fiscal prudence as low interest rates benefit all

Bridge collapse in Gujarat: Oreva Group MD Jaysukh Patel surrenders before court

AAP setting agenda for Karnataka assembly polls, will fight all 224 seats: Atishi

Political parties seek early end to first half of Budget session: Joshi

Highlights of Economic Survey 2022-23 tabled in Parliament

Need to closely monitor CAD: Economic Survey

Related Articles More

Home Guard arrested for extorting money from woman in Bengaluru

Sandalwood trees stolen from Nagabana in Udupi: Accused arrested, property seized

Kodagu: Woman stranded in Kuwait reaches India safely

Puttur: Spat between Sanya Iyer and youth at Kambala event goes viral on social media

AAP setting agenda for Karnataka assembly polls, will fight all 224 seats: Atishi


voting boycott continued in mudigere assembly

Kollur Mookambika to get new Ratha after 400years

Villagers election boycott warning for road

Sand art | Malpe Beach Uthsava 2023 | Udupi – Udayavani

Various competitions, activities in Beach Utsava!

Latest Additions

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan dies aged 97

Wrestling row: Babita Phogat joins oversight committee

CAG India takes over chairmanship of audit institutions of G20 nations

Competition among governors as to who is more loyal to PM Modi: Mallikarjun Kharge

Adani Group acquires Haifa port for $1.2 bn, Israeli PM Netanyahu lauds deal as ‘enormous milestone’

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.