Guj: Experts raise concern on UK variant, call 2nd wave a war

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Ahmedabad, Apr 9 (PTI) The UK variant of coronavirus was spreading 'four to six times faster' in Gujarat and the 'second wave' of infections was no less than a war, a member of the state task force on the outbreak said on Friday.

Gujarat has seen a sharp spike in cases over the last few days, with Thursday witnessing 4,021 COVID-19, the highest single-day jump so far, taking the state's caseload to 3,32,474.

'What we are facing right now is the UK variant of coronavirus. This is spreading four to six times faster than the previous variants. As a result, if one person contracts the virus, his immediate family members are also turning positive very quickly,' Dr VN Shah, well-known diabetologist and member of state government's task force, said.

He added that 'SMS', or 'social distancing, mask and sanitiser' would be the key in the fight against the outbreak, while vaccination will be an important component in achieving herd immunity.

Shah said a mass movement was needed to promote 'SMS' and committees needed to be formed even at rural levels to create awareness and fight the pandemic.

'This is a war and we all need to join hands to win it,' Shah added.

Dr Dileep Mavlankar, director of Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar stressed on a detailed research of this new variant in order to build a better response against it.

'We need to conduct an epidemiological study. We need to investigate why people who have been vaccinated are getting infected or why people are getting infected for the second time. We must conduct research to check whether the vaccine has retained its efficacy against the virus,' said Mavlankar.

Dr Tejas Patel, also part of the state government's task force, stressed on mass vaccination to build herd immunity and asked people not to believe in false propaganda about vaccine side effects. PTI PJT PD BNM BNM