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‘Need to go back to March’: ‘New Covid strain puts recovered too at risk’, Kashmir doctors call for strict SOPs

People leaving London on December 20, 2020 soon after UK PM Boris Johnson announced a fresh, stringent lockdown due to the new covid strain (Source: Twitter)

Srinagar:  Doctors in Kashmir have cautioned people against any SOP violation after the new Covid-19 strain struck terror in the United Kingdom.

A sharp rise in Covid-19 infection caused by a new variant of the coronavirus has affected the UK, prompting the government to extend the lockdown.

 

Jammu and Kashmir, which has been one of the most affected places in the country, has recorded 118263 cases of Covid-19. Around 1841 deaths have been recorded so far in J&K. 

Doctors claim that mutations can travel to any place of the world given its ‘highly contagious nature’.

“A new mutation called VUI 2020 12/01 is circulating in the UK since 2020 and its transmission has been faster than expected in the last few weeks. As the virus spread from China last year, such mutations can travel to any part of the world and Kashmir can be no exception,” said Head Infectious Diseases unit and in-charge Covid -19 SKIMS, Dr. AIjaz Nabi Koul.

Dr. Koul warned that the Covid curve can go up if SOPs are not followed.  “We are in a better position in Kashmir, but the road ahead may be bumpy. People in Kashmir are taking the virus lightly by not following the guidelines. Fresh wave of Covid-19 is expected to hit in the future. We need to start afresh. We need to go back to March 2020,” he said.

The Head of the Infectious Diseases unit said to avoid the UK like situation, they shall have to break the chain.

“People have to follow social distancing, wash hands regularly, eat healthy food, exercise, and wear masks. An infection keeps on changing, mutating, and trying to evade our immune system. We try to kill these agents and vaccine is one of the methods,” he said.

Dr. Koul said the recovered persons are equally vulnerable to Covid-19 infections. “A person getting infected can’t be immune to viruses for the rest of life. Immunity is a dynamic process, it wanes and waxes especially if virus frequently changes, immunity will have a tough time handling Covid,” he said.

Dr. Muhammad Salim Khan, HOD Community Medicine GMC Srinagar and Nodal Officer for Covid-19 at SMHS said people need to follow SOPs rigorously as new variants can affect anyone.

 “There has been some laxity from people. They don’t follow SOPs rigorously. If a new variant emerges, it can affect any population. So without panicky, people need to follow SOPs and live with the new normal,” he said.

Dr. Salim said Covid-19 cases have dropped and only patients with severity are being admitted in hospitals now.

 Meanwhile the Centre on Monday said the government is fully alert about the new strain of coronavirus, stressing “there is no need to panic.”