What Does the Emergence of New Coronavirus Variants Mean for Us?

As India struggles to control the second wave, what do the appearance of new variants in the country mean?

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Now that the adrenaline rush around the state election results has waned, a quick reminder is due on the fact that the country is still struggling with the second surge of COVID.

India’s cases reported a dip for the third consecutive day. However, the country still recorded 3.57 lakh new COVID cases on 4 May, taking the cumulative tally in the country to over 2 crore.

But the dip cannot be a reason to be hopeful yet as it has not been ascertained if it has to do with low infections or low testing. While governments say that the infection is coming down in certain states, such as Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, most experts argue that it was the lack of testing and underreporting of deaths and infections that projected the dip.

Despite this alarming situation in the country that necessitates urgent vaccination for the masses, the wait for shots is stretching longer as the vaccine stock in the country is all spent.

While states are unable to kickstart mass immunisation right away, Serum Institute's CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the vaccine shortage is expected go on till July.

But as India struggles to control the second wave, what do the appearance of the new variants in the country mean? Are the new variants behind this surge? Are more and more variants likely to pop up? And at a time when our vaccine stocks are running dry, what kind of a vaccination strategy could we adopt? Tune in to The Big Story!

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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