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Top Health Expert Warns: Coronavirus Will Keep Mutating, New Strains Can Emerge

New Delhi: As states are gradually opening up, tourists are flocking to favourite destinations, especially in north India. Scenes of thousands of people descending on picturesque places like Shimla, Manali and Mussoorie are sending shockwaves even as a possible third wave of COVID-19 pandemic looms in India.

Cases of coronavirus’ Delta variant have been rising across the globe, and even Delta Plus has surfaced.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) emphasised that the second wave of COVID is not yet over and all states must ensure strict adherence to wearing of masks and social distancing.

Just to drive home the point that there is absolutely no reason to relax COVID-appropriate behaviour, a top public health expert has cautioned that several new kinds of variants may emerge as the virus will keep mutating.

“Mutation is normal for viruses and they will keep mutating as long as their viruses are multiplying. That is the norm,” Dr Mathew Varghese, public health expert and former director of St Stephen’s Hospital, New Delhi, told ANI.

Dr Varghese warned that people must be prepared for various types of mutants in the future, and thus have to remain vigilant.

Dr Varghese pointed out that even though close to 40 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in India, not a large part of the population has been inoculated yet.

“Our population hasn’t been immunised to the level that we have seen in the US, where 50 per cent of the population is immunised. In the UK more than 50 per cent have received two doses. Presently, the numbers that have been immunised in our country are less,” he was quoted as saying.

India has just recently gone through a “massive surge in the second wave” and thus, people need to be careful, Dr Varghese said.

He urged people visiting tourist places to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing.

“Don’t touch the mask and if you touch it, then sanitise it. Mask is your essential shield, covering both your nose and mouth,” he added.