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Health Minister of Telangana Eatala Rajender
Health Minister of Telangana Eatala Rajender

Telangana Health Minister confirms two coronavirus reinfections in the state

  • Eatala Rajender said those who are not developing antibodies in enough amount might get infected again
  • Director of Public Health G. Srinivas Rao said symptoms will be more mild in a reinfection

New Delhi: Health Minister of Telangana Eatala Rajender on Tuesday said there have been two cases of coronavirus reinfection in the state.

"The virus is new and we are learning about it daily. There is no guarantee that coronavirus will not come again in those who were infected before. Those who are not developing antibodies in enough amount might get infected again. Courage is the main drug for battling the pandemic," Rajender told a news channel.

Earlier in the day, Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivas Rao said though there is a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in rural Telangana, the infection rate is coming down in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area and it is expected to further reduce in the coming days.

"We have earlier said the cases would gradually come down in the GHMC area by the end of August. We also said though there would be some uptick, the cases in rural Telangana would be under control by the end of September. The trend is as expected," he said at a press conference.

"We brought the disease under control in the GHMC area. By September end the entire state would be under control (with respect to the virus)," Srinivas added.

Srinivas too confirmed the reinfections and said symptoms will be more mild in a reinfection.

"We are sending their samples to research labs and will study them further to see if any complications can arise due to a reinfection," Srinivas told a Telugu news channel.

As many as 2,579 COVID-19 positive cases and nine deaths were reported in Telangana on August 24, taking the total number of cases in the state to 1,08,670, according to the State Health Department on Tuesday.

The officials said that 1,752 people also recovered from the virus after treatment in the state, taking the total number of recoveries in the state to 84,163. However, 770 others have lost their lives due to the virus.

Currently, there are a total number of 23,737 COVID-19 positive cases in the state. Notably, 17,226 people are under home or institutional quarantine in the state.

The apex health research body, ICMR, on Tuesday said there is "no need to be alarmed immensely" over the reinfection case of COVID-19 reported in Hong Kong, but at the same time maintained that it is not yet known how long the immunity lasts in case of coronavirus.

At a press briefing, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Balram Bhargava said the Hong Kong case is a stray example and the reinfection can depend upon various factors.

"We have read with interest the reports of reinfection in one case in Hong Kong. We are learning more and more about the disease as we go ahead. It can depend on several factors, one can be related to the patient itself, how is his immunity, how was his immune status, was it compromised. It can also depend upon the virus, whether the virus has mutated or turned virulent," he said.

Citing the example of measles, he said once it affects, it gives lifelong immunity. But rarely does one can get the measles a second time.

"Similarly, this is a stray example, but for this disease, we are trying to find out. We need to find out how long the immunity lasts. We need to closely follow it up, but at the same time we don't need to be alarmed immensely about it," Bhargava said.

University of Hong Kong scientists have reportedly claimed to have the first evidence of someone being reinfected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after genetic tests showed that a 33-year-old man returning from a trip to Spain in mid-August had a different strain of the coronavirus than the one he was found infected with in March.

Srinivas said that the Hong Kong techie was infected with the local strain in the first time and second time around he got infected with the European strain.

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