Mutation is normal, virus will keep mutating: Top health expert

New Delhi: Warning that new kinds of Coronavirus strains may be seen in the future as mutation is normal for viruses, Dr Mathew Varghese, public health expert, and former director, St Stephen’s Hospital, New Delhi cautioned people that they need to be careful and follow COVID appropriate behaviour.

“Mutation is normal for viruses and they will keep mutating as long as their viruses are multiplying. That is the norm. We should be prepared for various types of mutants to be present in the environment, in the future and therefore we have to be careful and keep following COVID-appropriate behaviour.”

Dr Varghese also said that the population in our country has not been immunised to the same level as compared to the US or the UK.

“We have just gone through a massive surge in the second wave, as we call it, at the beginning of June and we have just recovered from that. What are the lessons you have learnt from that if the mutant is of that variety? Our population hasn’t been immunised to the level that we have seen in the US where 50 per cent of the population is immunised. In the UK more than 50 per cent have received two doses. Presently, the numbers that have been immunised in our country are less. The number of persons that have been infected in some of the tourist spots is less because they have not been affected by the virus to that extent. Therefore we have to be careful.”

We need to be careful particularly in areas that are crowded and closed, he added.

Dr Varghese also recommended that wearing masks, hand washing and social distancing should be followed even while visiting tourist places.

“Don’t touch the mask and if you touch it then sanitise it. Mask is your essential shield, covering both your nose and mouth. When sanitising, cover the entire hand and fingers. In case you don’t have a sanitiser then you should carry soap and wash your hands. Soap is better than sanitiser. Put on your mask all the time while you are interacting with others,” said Dr Varghese.

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