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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 444  

Chasing the virus: Not only difficult but impossible. Are we going to hit a dead end?


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Date of Submission14-Aug-2020
Date of Decision30-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance30-Aug-2020
Date of Web Publication25-Jan-2022

Correspondence Address:
Sweta Singh
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar - 751 019, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_454_20

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How to cite this article:
Singh S. Chasing the virus: Not only difficult but impossible. Are we going to hit a dead end?. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15:444

How to cite this URL:
Singh S. Chasing the virus: Not only difficult but impossible. Are we going to hit a dead end?. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 May 21];15:444. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2022/15/3/444/336448



Dear Sir,

I have read with interest the editorial titled “Chasing the virus: Not only difficult but impossible. Are we going to hit a dead end?”[1] While I agree with the editor when he says that we should allay the fear and panic of the people and that repeated antibody serosurveillance will give us an idea of the spread of the virus in different parts of India, I differ on some of the other views expressed and would like to give a counterpoint.

The editorial states that the infection fatality rate for COVID-19 in India is <0.1%, which means that in more than 99.9% of Indians, this is a self-limiting illness. As I write this article, India had recorded 2,329,638 confirmed cases and 46,091 deaths since the first case was recorded 6 months ago.[2] Given India's population as 1,381,530,198,[3] and an estimated 18 crore people having been infected,[1] the estimated number of people who could potentially die from COVID-19, while the population reaches the herd immunity level, may be difficult to accept.[4] Are we really ready to sacrifice that many lives?

The editorial states that testing, contact tracing and isolation are important only in the very early and in the late phase of the pandemic, and that this strategy is not cost-effective given the population that is infected in India.[1] However, I strongly feel that the duration of the time that we are “intra-COVID” will depend on a lot of factors such as vaccination, herd immunity, societal uptake of preventive measures, testing, contact tracing, and new knowledge. Hence, it is not time yet to give up on testing and contact tracing, which is part of our multipronged war on the novel coronavirus.

The editorial says that more testing will raise panic levels. I could not disagree more. The need for liberal testing has been felt for more reasons that one, including ruling out the masquerades of this new disease,[5] which has been around for only 8 months now.

Hence, I will conclude by saying that while chasing the novel-coronavirus is difficult, it is not impossible. A multipronged approach is going to get us to the post-COVID era.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Banerjee A. Chasing the virus: Not only difficult but impossible. Are we going to hit a dead end? Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2020; 2020;13:425-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Available from: https://covid19.who.int/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3Y6XzL-X6wIVm30rCh2H7gPFEAAYASAAEgLEevD_BwE. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/india-population/. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 11].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Kwok KO, Lai F, Wei WI, Wong SY, Tang JW. Herd immunity-Estimating the level required to halt the COVID-19 epidemics in affected countries. J Infect 2020;80:e32-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Singh S. Coronavirus disease-2019 in pregnancy with neurological manifestations versus pregnancy with eclampsia: Need for liberal testing to rule out the masquerades. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2020;99:950.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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