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WHO chief scientist says India is better equipped to deal with COVID 3rd wave

Swaminathan told CNBC that the world has learned enough about the coronavirus to understand which of the weaknesses in the human body it exploits, and which public health tools and measures are effective at tackling it. (REUTERS)Premium
Swaminathan told CNBC that the world has learned enough about the coronavirus to understand which of the weaknesses in the human body it exploits, and which public health tools and measures are effective at tackling it. (REUTERS)

  • What is needed also is to ramp up the health workforce because it’s not enough to just have the equipment and the materials and the drugs. We also need trained nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, critical care technicians and others, she told CNBC. 

World Health Organization chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said India is better prepared deal with new Covid-19 waves, CNBC reported. 

India suffered a devastating second wave between February and early May, when the daily infection count and death rates rose at an alarming pace. Since then the pace of vaccination has also climbed sharply in the country and currently, the cases are averaging to around 30,000 to 40,000 a day. 

Swaminathan told CNBC that the world has learned enough about the coronavirus to understand which of the weaknesses in the human body it exploits, and which public health tools and measures are effective at tackling it.

“I think we are much better equipped now in India, but also in other countries, to prevent any catastrophic waves from happening," she said.

“I think the preparations at health system level have really increased, particularly with respect to oxygen and critical care facilities," Swaminathan said.

“What is needed also is to ramp up the health workforce because it’s not enough to just have the equipment and the materials and the drugs. We also need trained nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, critical care technicians and others," she added.

Pointing out that pace of vaccination has increased significantly, she said, “At this rate, it should be possible to get to that goal of almost all adults being vaccinated in the country. It’s a huge population — 700 million doses administered already." 

“There is a still a long way to go, but if this pace continues, if the supplies from the manufacturers continue, then ... I think it should be possible to meet that goal."

India recorded 43,263 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,31,39,981, while the active cases increased to 3,93,614, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The death toll climbed to 4,41,749 with 338 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The active cases comprise 1.19 per cent of the total infections and the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.48 per cent, the ministry said.

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