New Delhi, August 3 (ANI): ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava said has said that it is difficult to predict whether or not India will see a second wave of COVID-19 infections and there will be smaller peaks at different times due to varied geography of the country.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, (Prof) Dr Bhargava also said that the situation was rapidly evolving and there have been immense variations in spread of infection and mortality rates in different geographies and across different demographics around the world.
"SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus. There is still a lot we don't know about it. We have also seen immense variations in the spread of infection and mortality rates in different geographies and across different demographics around the world. So, it is difficult to predict whether or not India will see a second wave of infections. There is also a wide variation in disease distribution in specific states - so one size cannot fit all," he said.
The Director-General of India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said apart from the scientific inputs, full participation of all citizens is essential to overcome the COVID-19 challenge.
"Due to the varied geography of our nation, there would be smaller peaks at different times. The situation is rapidly evolving, and we will continue to monitor it. However, it is pertinent that people follow preventive measures like social distancing, use of masks and hand hygiene. The right intervention approach, the scientific input and full participation of all citizens and communities is essential to overcome the COVID-19 challenge" he said.
Dr Bhargava, a key scientist involved in monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the country, said ICMR has been monitoring this disease since January 2020 and its lab at the National Institute of Virology is also amongst the first few in the world to completely isolate the virus to learn more about its characteristics and lay the groundwork for finding a potential cure.
Asked how ICMR will tackle any future threat of virus, Dr Bhargava said that even before COVID-19 struck, ICMR had set up a platform with other 10 South East Asian countries to conduct collaborative research on emerging diseases.