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Dr Randeep Guleria’s mantra to fight against any COVID-19 variant amid Delta Plus concerns

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New Delhi: The AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Wednesday said that the spread of the new Delta plus variant in India could be controlled through proper COVID-19 protocol, lockdown and vaccinations.

“It is difficult to say that the Delta plus variant is creating any problems in India. But we cannot let our guard down, we need to keep a close look at any surge that is registered. We have to be vigilant to avoid the third wave and follow COVID protocols. We need to aggressively test and track, get more people vaccinated,” AIIMS Director said.

Dr Guleria also stated that it did not matter what COVID-19 variant came, as long as proper protocols were followed. “Lockdown, vaccination, protocols are the best way to tackle any variant,” he said.

While talking about the possible third wave, Dr Guleria warned that vigilance was needed to avoid a third wave. “The third wave is dependent on us. If we want to avoid it, we need to do three things: aggressively follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, we must have very good surveillance and aggressively push for vaccination. If we do these three things, we will be able to get away from either not having a third wave or delaying it or it will have a very little peak,” he said.

“If cases have come down, let us not make the same mistake which we made after the first wave. We thought that the virus has gone and now we can do anything. We must understand the virus is still there and mutating. It is becoming more of a cause of concern,” he added.

COVID-induced lockdowns, strict restrictions and other protocols were also initiated in most parts of the country to combat the disaster.

“We cannot allow any variant to spread. In any area where cases are increasing, hospital admissions are going up, then the area must be clamped, to stop the spread of the virus we can have a very strict lockdown. There is a need to do a lot of testing, tracking, treating and isolating positive cases,” said Dr Guleria.

The AIIMS Director also spoke on the possible third wave affecting the children. 

“Authorities need to take a call on opening schools. I personally feel that we need to open schools and look at a strategy to do so; the opening should be graded,” AIIMS Director said.

AIIMS Delhi Director, Dr Guleria has said Bharat Biotech and other companies are doing trials at a very fast pace and hoped that data will lead to approvals so that there is a vaccine for children in the country by September-October.

The AIIMS Director also talked about the nature of various COVID-19 variants. “A virus mutates regularly. Most mutations are termed as ‘variant of interest’, it becomes a ‘variant of concern’ only when it becomes more infectious or virulent,” Dr Guleria said. 

(With Agency inputs)

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