Recent data on the transmission of the novel coronavirus has given cause for cheer. For the first time since May, over 50% of the states reported that there were no Covid fatalities on 9th February.
Separately, data of a seroprevalence study was released in Tamil Nadu, a state which recorded a relatively high number of confirmed cases in the early days. Tamil Nadu’s seroprevalence in October-November was about 32% of the population and more than 35 times higher than the recorded positive cases.
It has raised the hope that large parts of India may be heading towards herd immunity, a stage that would diminish the threat of virus transmission significantly. That is an unwise position to take. There remain many unknown aspects of the pandemic. Experts remain unsure of when the antibodies of an already infected person will begin to wane. Also, no one really knows if the antibodies are good enough to deal with all variants.
Given the number of unknown aspects, the healthcare fraternity and all governments should work on persuading the population to shed its vaccine hesitancy. Mass vaccination offers the best protection at this point.
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