Coronavirus Cases Expected to Rise Globally: WHO Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

WHO's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said that coronavirus cases are expected to increase globally.

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Coronavirus Cases Expected to Rise Globally: WHO Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

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The World Health Organisation (WHO)'s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Monday, 15 November, said that coronavirus cases are expected to rise globally, reported News18.

This comes at a time when there is fear of a third wave of coronavirus hitting India.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, she also said that the vaccination of vulnerable populations has led to 'uncoupling between infections and deaths'.

Many countries in Western Europe are seeing a surge in infections, some increase in hospitalisation due to a number of reasons… but not a significant increase in deaths. So, an uncoupling between infections and deaths, largely because the vulnerable groups have been almost entirely vaccinated.
Soumya Swaminathan, as per CNBC-TV18

'Vaccination Course Expected to Provide Protection for a Year or Possibly Longer'

The double dose of vaccination is expected to provide protection for a year or possibly longer in a majority of adults, she added. Even if the antibodies in the blood start declining, new evidence has shown that vaccine-derived immunity will remain for a long time. However, for most healthy adults, a vaccination course would provide "good protection" for a year or possibly longer, she said.

Responding to questions on booster doses and mix and match vaccines, the WHO scientist said it was an interesting concept but added that data was required to arrive at conclusions. "We have to determine the need for booster doses and also make it clear who needs to have the additional doses," the scientist said.

Swaminathan also defended WHO's process of granting emergency approval for Covaxin. "Although it is not the vaccine which took the longest time for approval, we have to respect the independent scientific and technical process," she said. The global health body's technical advisory group recommended Emergency Use Listing (EUL) status for the vaccine two weeks ago.

She further added that the immune response to vaccination had been "encouraging" globally. Even though natural infection does provide immunity against the virus, "it is variable," she said, adding that "in 10 to 20 percent of people, you can't even detect antibodies after infection." Hence, vaccination is necessary, she said.

(With inputs from News18 and CNBC-TV18)

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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