But misinformation has spread in India and is sometimes recognized as true. Here’s a fact-checking into common myths and misconceptions about India’s second wave.
Doctors in India have reported that an increasing number of young people show symptoms of Covid-19.
All of this led to a pervasive belief that the second wave affected young people disproportionately.
Check the facts: Government statistics show that young people are not affected more badly during the second wave than the first.
During the first wave, approximately 31 percent of the patients were under the age of 30, VK Paul, chairman of India’s Covid agency, said at a press conference on April 19.During the second wave, that figure rose only slightly to 32 percent.
About 21% of cases were between 30 and 45 during the first wave – that proportion was unchanged during the second wave, according to government statistics.
It is a similar situation when it comes to the deaths last year, 20% of the deaths are those aged 50 or under. This time it’s 19%.
“There is not too much risk that young people will develop COVID-positive,” Paul said. “We do not see a change in the overall age prevalence of COVID-19 in the country.”
Dr. Chandra Sakharasingha, senior consultant for critically ill patient care at Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital in New Delhi, said he found more children infected in a second than the first. But he said it is possible that the second wave had the same proportion of pediatric COVID cases – the difference this time was likely that the total was much greater.
He urges parents not to panic if their child is tested positive, as long as they are not overweight and do not have respiratory problems.Most children do not need oxygen therapy or admission. Get hospitalized
Some of the species found in India, including the UK or B.1.1.7, are more inherited, which means they are easier to pass on. The UK variant, first identified in September 2020, is more prominent than the Indian variant of Delhi and North India.
Have been fully vaccinated Infected healthcare workers?
There is no vaccine in the world that will protect against infection in everyone. But local media reported that some doctors working in the hospital were tested positive after receiving all of the vaccines.
That raised concerns that the Indian vaccine might not. Compared with the new variables identified at the end of March, while the second wave accelerated.
Check the facts: Again, the statistics don’t bear that.
Of the 15 million people who received both doses of Covishield, an Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine – 5,014 were tested positive, or 0.03%.
Until Saturday, India has just launched a vaccine to its elite and most vulnerable workers.
Is the new variant behind the second wave?
On March 24, India’s Health Ministry said in a press release that “VOCs (worrisome variables) and new mutated variants have been found in India”.
Fears have escalated that a new variant, called B.1.617, could be the reason the second wave attacked the country much harder and faster than the first. One of the biggest concerns is whether the variables can avoid vaccination nationwide.
Check the facts: Scientists are still researching the new variables, and there isn’t enough information to determine if this is causing the trend.
As a result, the country needs more genome surveillance. Experts believe a country needs to perform genetic sequencing of 5-10% of all Covid test samples to assess how much different activity is involved. India ranks less than 1% of cases, according to Dr Ashish Jha, Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, Brown University.
Some Indian epidemiologists suggest there is a relationship between variable increases and case increases. But it’s important to note that other breeds are currently in play, for example the UK variant.
The term “double mutant” refers to a variable that has two spike protein mutations. A mutation, known as L452R, has also been found in other strains that provide a certain degree of immune resistance. The second mutation, known as E484Q, may be similar to another mutation found in the South African variant.
However, just having these mutations doesn’t necessarily mean they are more transmissible or lethal – we don’t have that information yet.
Can traditional remedies protect you from infection?
Since the epidemic began, a number of supposedly available treatments and preventive measures have appeared in India, with some officials and celebrities encouraged, despite little evidence of its effectiveness.
In March last year, a group of Hindus held a cow urine drinking party in Delhi. 200 people reportedly attended that month, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which govern the country in Assam, told the press. At the State Conference on Urine and Cow Dung “Can be used in the treatment of coronavirus disease”
An influential guru of yoga launched a herbal blend in February, claiming it can cure COVID and is certified by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Check the facts: There is little evidence that local remedies can prevent or cure COVID, and that medical authorities have rejected several of these guidelines.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), a national medical organization, has also criticized high-profile individuals for promoting unproven treatment, saying it is unethical and undermines the need for critical measures. Such as vaccination
Could the introduction of a better vaccine prevent the coronavirus outbreak?
So far, only 2% of the 1.3 billion people in India have been fully vaccinated with one in two vaccines, significantly lower than the United States, where 30% of the population have been fully vaccinated.
The slow launch has been criticized, with some arguing it may have contributed to the second wave.
Check the facts: While the vaccine provides a certain level of protection to the person But India is also likely to have a significant increase in cases due to the nature of its periodic vaccination program, said Michael Head, a senior researcher in global health at the University of Southampton’s Clinical Informatics Research Unit.
Like most other countries, India has first vaccinated its most vulnerable people, including the elderly and frontline healthcare workers. But young and fit people who can travel appear to be the largest spreaders of COVID, he said – “and they are probably the lowest priority in terms of vaccination”.
“So I think you have to see 50-60% of the vaccinated population before they can begin to show their effects on transmission,” he added. “Because you are just reaching out to the most widespread demographic – young people, even if they are not severely affected.”
“I think India will have to go a lot further in launching a move to avoid these outbreaks, assuming other populations remain the same,” Head said.
To date, the government has bought at least 205.5 million doses, according to the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, which places India in the top 10 buyers of Covid-19 vaccines in the world.
Could smoke from a crematorium cause pollution?
New Delhi alone is cremating more than 600 COVID victims a day, with non-stop cremation throughout the night. That has led some to wonder if the fumes polluted India’s air.
Check the facts: Several areas in New Delhi reported unhealthy levels of air pollution during the second wave, and it is possible that cremation would affect air quality.
Previous studies have shown that open-air cremation of wood releases small amounts of carbon monoxide and other pollutants.
The amount of money released from the cremation. “It’s not important enough to wake up the alarm bell,” said Wimlenduja, a Delhi-based environmental and social activist. And although the current air quality is poor, the “Indian standard” is not uncommon.
Some context: Air pollution has always been a major problem in India, including smog from burning fields, emissions of vehicles, power plants and pollution from construction sites.
“Many of the pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of death in people infected with Covid-19 are the same diseases affected by long-term exposure to air pollution,” the study said.
CNN’s Esha Mitra contributed a report from New Delhi.