New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): India has reported 41,506 new COVID-19 cases and 895 deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours, according to data from the health ministry.
Asked about COVID resurgence and virus mutation, Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Sarin, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences said, "One thing is clear that decline is not continuing whether its plateau or whether it's a rise only. Some more time is required to decide. But, yes decline in the number of deaths and cases has not continued. Hoping it will go down... The fear is also there about the number of cases in a few states especially in South and Maharashtra."
He also said, "There is fear that new variants might arise and the virus can spread again to uninfected or those who are partially vaccinated people. If these people travel to other parts of the country I think whole purpose can be defeated. I am worried like anyone else in the country that cases are emerging and the virus has a huge potential of mutating and making new variants and more infections can be there in the future."
Recently another genome sequencing lab has been started by the government of Delhi at ILBS that will help to get more genome sequencing. He said, "Genome sequencing helps to check whether virus is changing in today basis and we can do close to about 300 samples in a week."
On Delta plus and Kappa variant Dr Sarin said, "Right now the Delta plus has not been reported in large numbers at least not in the samples that we have, but yes Delta plus can certainly be there. Delta itself is so kind of troublesome. It's a very tough virus. Now we are worried about the lambda variant."
When he was asked whether the few states still reporting highest cases was due to the start of the third wave, Dr Sarin said, "This is difficult to say because second wave hasn't settled down yet or reached to the bottom. The second wave has not settled so you are very right that Maharashtra, Kerala and many other States in the Northeast can also pose a challenge for the country."
Elaborating on whether tourist places in India are a cause of concern, he said, "We saw how people are mixing. If you have tourists coming from all over the country to a hill station he will bring virus from there and others will bring virus from somewhere and they are super spreader and they are close together the fear of having multiple mutant virus in future due to crowd mixing can be very dangerous and fatal."
Regarding the Kanwar Yatra which starts in Uttar Pradesh on July 25, he said, "These are big decisions by the government, but as a simple scientist and a doctor I must say unless and until they promise to the society that they will not misbehave, I think such yatras are very dangerous because you are safe only if your neighbour is safe. Otherwise you are unsafe. If they don't follow the COVID appropriate behaviour, such yatras should be cautiously monitored, " Dr Sarin added (ANI)