AIIMS doctor sees Covid-19 easing without any vaccine by mid-2021: report
19 September 2020
Amidst the rush of nations and pharma majors across the world to corner a larger share of the corona vaccines still under development, a report citing a key doctor at New Delhi’s AIIMS says the pandemic would ease even without a vaccine by the middle of next year.
It is possible that the situation created by Covid-19 would return to normal by the middle of next year even if a vaccine is not developed by then, ANI quoted Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor in Community Medicine Department at AIIMS as saying.
Dr Rai, who is also a principal investigator at the Bharat Biotech Covaxin clinical trial at AIIMS, however, said that for that to happen Covid-19 preventive measures like wearing masks, hand hygiene should be strictly followed.
Also, at the current pace of development, vaccines would not be available until middle of next year. Vaccine for all may a take one or two years more, according to Serum Institute of India.
"By mid-next year, there's a possibility of normalcy even if vaccine comes or not. There is always the natural end of any pandemic so it (COVID-19) will end too. It can happen in three ways - if we find a vaccine, if we give effective treatment or natural infection covers it. Only these three ways can end the infection. Today we do not have a vaccine or any effective treatment. If a vaccine does not come it will naturally end. When people will develop natural immunity, the virus will naturally end and it depends on our strategy," ANI quoted Dr Rai as saying.
He cited instances of Covid cases declining in areas after a surge, as in the case of Dharavi in Mumbai. Once a hotspot, the situation there is now under control.
Similarly in Delhi, newer areas are witnessing an increase in Covid cases while the hotspots are seeing an easing of case numbers.
Dr Rai said phase 2 clinical trial for Covid-19 vaccine is underway in India with a good sample size of more than 600 motivated volunteers. "Any vaccine will come by mid-next year, anywhere in the world, if everything goes as planned," he added.
Dr Rai said that 6.4 million adults above the age of 18 years were found infected in the national serosurvey conducted during April-May. He also suggested changing strategy and keeping the focus on reducing the mortality rate.
He suggested treating co-morbid patients with mild infections at home if possible, as an increase in the bed occupancy would lead to higher mortality rate due to the possibility of hospital-acquired infection.
This, he said would help reduce mortality rate.
India's COVID-19 case count has crossed the 52-lakh mark with a spike of 96,424 new cases and 1,174 deaths.
In a landmark global achievement, India has overtaken USA and become the top country in terms of global COVID-19 recoveries.
India has reported the highest number of total recoveries with more than 42 lakh (42,08,431) COVID patients recovered and discharged. India now accounts for close to 19% of the total global recoveries. This has strongly pushed the national Recovery Rate to nearly 80% (79.28%).
Number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 52,14,677 as of 6.30 on Friday, with 96,424 cases reported over the past 24 hours.
Number of recoveries also rose to 41,12,551 with the addition of 87,472 on Friday.
The pandemic took a toll of 84,372 people, including 1,174 deaths on Friday.
This leaves 10,17,754 active cases.