How is India’s second wave of Covid-19 different from the first?

May 27, 2021

The massive covid-19 second wave has swept through the country taking numerous lives and causing irreversible damage. One in five citizens of the country has reported coronavirus infections. India has reported more than 5.9 lakh new covid-19 cases recently. The spread of infection due to covid-19 second wave is the fastest ever recorded in India. There are several yet minor factors that differentiate the covid-19 second wave from the first.

To start with, the spread of coronavirus infections during the second wave is very much faster than the previous wave of coronavirus infection. Many experts believe that this surge is mainly due to the new home-grown strains or mutants of the covid-19 virus. The flaccid measures of prevention coupled with lethal variants of the coronavirus have caused this nationwide crisis. This variant was identified in 61% of sampled genome sequence in Maharashtra, the worst-hit state.

Another important question that many experts ponder over is that the younger generation is more vulnerable to the covid-19 second wave than the first. According to the union ministry report, those below the age of 45 accounted for 60% of the coronavirus infections in the country during the first wave. Now during the covid-19 second wave states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka have reported near-50 percent infections among people below 45 years. This is because the older people were vaccinated first during the first wave and they largely remained indoors. The younger generation was comparatively more active ventured out for their livelihood and vaccination for the 18 + is not going at the required pace.

In the second wave, the ICMR director Dr Bhargava cited that in the 2nd wave patients are presenting more with breathlessness, while in the previous wave, they usually presented with dry cough, joint pain, headache etc.

In this wave, the RT PCR is conducted primarily and this test rarely misses both genes. Hence covid detection is higher.

Moreover, many medical experts believe that the nature of the mutant coronavirus is largely responsible for the more aggressive transmission of the virus. The lethality of the infection has grown. This makes the virus transfers faster than it did during the covid-19 second wave.

However, covid appropriate behaviour is the key.

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