“Don’t Think This is A Fourth Wave”, Says Top Scientist as Covid Cases Take an Upswing

A prominent scientist indicated on Wednesday that the recent jump in coronavirus cases does not signal a fourth wave, at least for the time being, according to news agency ANI.

“The entire world continues to witness BA.2 variant affect people across the world. Some of us have misunderstood mandatory use of a mask which has been withdrawn means no fear of acquiring infection,” Dr Gangakhedkar, ex- head scientist at ICMR said.

There has been no proof of a new variety, according to Gangakhedkar.

“Those who are older, those who have not taken vaccines, those who have got infected so far, need to remember to use a face mask,” he added.

In the last 24 hours, the country’s coronavirus cases have more than doubled to over 2,000 infections, bringing the overall number of current cases to over 12,000.

India’s effective reproduction number (R) for Covid, a measure of how quickly the virus spreads, has risen to over one for the first time since January, according to PTI. The study was based on a researcher’s estimate from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai.

According to Sitabhra Sinha, the country’s R value, which has been progressively growing over the last few weeks, was 1.07 for the week of April 12-18. It was 0.93 the week before, from April 5 to 11.

The R was last over 1 in the week of January 16-22, when the value was 1.28, according to Sinha.

“This increase in R-value is not just because of Delhi but also Haryana and Uttar Pradesh,” the mathematician, who has been tracking R for India since the beginning of the pandemic, told PTI.

Meanwhile, the Centre has written to five states, including Delhi, where there has been an increase in illnesses, encouraging them to monitor the disease’s progress and take the necessary actions to handle the virus quickly and effectively.

All five states have been ordered by the health ministry to continue monitoring clusters of new Covid-19 cases, undertake proper testing, take action in areas reporting high case positive, and regularly monitor Influenza-like illness (ILI) and SARS patients in all hospitals. Vaccination of all eligible people has also been requested of the states.

Over the last two months, India has seen a steady reduction in the number of Covid-19 cases, with the government reporting roughly 1,000 new cases per day for the past few weeks. The weekly positive rate has stayed below 1% for the past several weeks. However, over the last few days, the tendency has begun to reverse.