State shouldn’t deny science: Covid task force expert

Maharashtra technical advisor on coronavirus calls for expediting vaccinations among beneficiaries aged above 50.

Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state Covid-19 task force, on Saturday said mutants can be a potential reason for the rapid spread of coronavirus cases in Amravati which possibly has led to a lockdown. “We need to investigate it thoroughly,” he said.

While 275 samples are being collected and sent to Pune-based National Institute of Virology and National Centre for Cell Science, the state health department has categorically denied the presence of the UK, South Africa and Brazil variants of SARS-COV2.

The expert said that genome sequencing will be completed within a week or so. The state public health department should not go on a denial mode on science, he opined.

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“The state is geo-mapping hotspots and should include them in containment zones. The lockdown should be left to the local administration if there is lack of adherence to Covid-19-appropriate behavior. The microbiology team of B J Government Medical College must be congratulated for identifying the potential mutations from Amravati, Yavtmal and Satara,” Dr Joshi said.

Double masking, distancing and reverse isolation of vulnerable groups must be followed in hotspots which need to be converted rapidly in green zones with public health measures in disaster times, the expert added.

Inoculation Call

Dr Subhash Salunkhe, state technical advisor on Covid-19, has urgently called for starting vaccinations for those aged above 50 with co-morbidities. “I am taking up the matter with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday,” Dr Salunkhe told The Indian Express. He visited Amravati to take stock of the situation. Across the state, so far, 8.5 lakh people have been vaccinated.

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