ICMR chief Dr. Balram Bhargava said India’s second wave of coronavirus disease is less severe than the previous one

Indian Council of Medical Research chief Dr. Balram Bhargava, said on Monday that in terms of the number of deaths, India’s second coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is less serious than the previous one.

After establishing the contrast, the ICMR Director General stated that the only difference was the shortness of breath which is higher among the patients because of the higher oxygen demand found in this wave.

“Very clearly, we find that the symptoms are much less. As I mentioned that the symptoms of joint ache, fatigue, muscle ache, loss of smell, or sore throat are much less compared to the first wave. However, shortness of breath is higher in this wave,” Dr Bhargava said.

However, ICMR DG stated that there was no difference in mortality between the first wave and the second wave.

Dr. Bhargava pointed out that India has a major loophole in the fight against the virus. He said: “We have had a tremendous amount of laxity and Covid-19 inappropriate behaviour was seen.”

The person in charge of ICMR said that it is not yet clear whether the spread of infection and the surge in cases is caused by the double mutation found in India or the higher transmission rate.

He also emphasized that RT-PCR is a gold standard test that can measure two or more genes in the body without losing the chance of detecting Covid-19 mutants through the test.

“I would like to emphasise that the RT-PCR test that we are utilising, they measure two or more genes and they never miss a test… We have always used two or more genes for testing and therefore missing is absolutely impossible… It can find any kind of mutant because it measures two or more genes at different sites,” he told.

He pointed out that what the two waves have in common is the age group of the infected. “In both the waves, 70% of infected patients are above 40 years.”

As India continues to report more than 200,000 cases for five consecutive days, the second round of coronavirus has overwhelmed the country’s health infrastructure.

According to data updated by the Union Ministry of Health on Monday, the total number of Covid-19 in India exceeded the 1.5 billion mark, an increase of about 2.5 million cases in just 15 days, and the number of active cases exceeded 1.9 million.

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