Covid Advisory Committee predicts relief from 2nd wave in next few weeks

Srinagar, May 29: The Covid Advisory Committee (CAC) in its report has predicted relief from the ongoing second wave of COVID-19, saying that it will die down in next few weeks.

The CAC has furnished its report before Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education. In the report, the committee has stated that the second wave of Covid-19 that witnessed steep and abrupt surge in positive cases and deaths in J&K has reached plateau and will die down in next few weeks.

Report reads that barring few metropolitan cities, the COVID-19 epidemic in India and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir followed a uniform epidemiological pattern, though J&K lagged the national curve by few weeks.

“COVID first wave was slow, gradual, and had the classical characteristic of involving the elderly and people with co-morbid diseases but COVID second wave was abrupt, steep, and showed a distinct pattern of involving young and middle-aged with no comorbidities, with more severe disease, altered disease pattern, and higher case fatality,” report adds.

There are indications that the second wave has reached a plateau and will die down in a matter of few weeks. The deaths will start declining one, two, or more weeks after the decline of the epidemic, it further adds.

The report further added that the lockdown for the last several weeks had a distinct effect on taming the epidemic faster than it would and needs to have a gradual guarded watchful relaxation to avoid a backlash.

“Apart from droplet spread of disease, the second wave showed a spread of disease through aerosol phenomenon in a poorly aerated closed environment and Superspreader phenomenon within homes. So, COVID’s appropriate policy and advice need to be redrafted with these transmission routes in mind,” it further adds.

There are definite clues that the second wave occurred due to the introduction of 2 variants of concern into the community from North India (UK variant) and other parts of India (Indian variant). This happened because we called COVID appropriate discipline for a toss in late 2020 and early 2021 and our inability to enforce travel advisory protocol, it adds.

The first wave was exclusively caused by the wild strain of the virus and there were no variants in the community in 2020. As of today, around or over 60% of infections are caused by variant strains of the virus, both in Kashmir and Jammu provinces and have nearly replaced the wild strains, it further adds.

The report adds that over 60 percent of the population is still susceptible to the infection.

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