Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Director-General Shekhar C Mande cautioned on Sunday that the Covid-19 crisis was far from over and making the “third wave” by lowering our guard would have serious consequences.
It was also important to continue to collaborate through institutions in order to solve the current situation as well as the disastrous situations resulting from climate change and the reliance on fossil fuels that could have wiped out humanity as a whole, he said.
Mande spoke on “India’s response to Covid-19 from the S&T viewpoint” at a virtual “National Science Day Lectures,” organised here by the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology.
India is still far from achieving herd immunity
According to the expert, India is still far from achieving herd immunity, so people should continue to wear masks, maintain social distance, and practise good hand hygiene to avoid being infected with the virus. He cautioned the citizens and the scientific community not to become complacent, warning that a third wave would bring about a much more dangerous situation than the country had faced so far. The digital lectures were moderated by RGCB Director Chandrabhas Narayana.
Mande expressed hope that the Covid-19 vaccines would be successful against coronavirus variants in response to questions from the scientific community. The evidence that the vaccines will not work against the mutated virus is “not very good.”
“We’d like to think the vaccines are successful” against the variants, he explained, since the vaccines attacked the entire virus while the mutation only affected a portion of it.
The prevalence of Covid-19 cases has declined, not due to herd immunity, but due to other factors such as mask use and people staying outside during the winter. According to the expert, the fact that the virus stayed suspended in the air in closed areas while losing its potency in open areas greatly aided in controlling the spread throughout the winter.
He went on to claim that the disease spread out of control in the West because people stayed indoors during the winter for the same reason. Lectures were also provided by Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures, and Jayant Sahasrabudhe, National Organising Secretary of Vijnana Bharati.