Tue. May 28th, 2024

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On a possible fourth wave of the covid pandemic, he said there’s a need to be alert.

New Delhi:

Covid is a virus that keeps mutating, and 214 different variants have been found in India so far, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in an exclusive interview with NDTV, assuring that the government is prepared to deal with the recent spike in infections. ICU beds, oxygen supply, and other critical care arrangements are in place, he said, adding that there’s a weekly review of preparedness. It’s impossible to predict how Covid will behave, but sub-variants, which are driving the surge now, are not as dangerous as to cause catastrophe, the minister explained.

Addressing widespread concerns on reports of rising heart attacks, even in young and healthy people, Mr Mandaviya told NDTV that the Health Ministry is investigating any possible link with Covid.

“The government has commissioned research to find the link between the recent spate of heart attacks in young people with Covid, and the results are expected in two-three months,” he said.

“We saw so many young artistes, athletes, sportspersons…they died on stage while performing. We all saw that, and reports started coming in from several places. We needed to investigate,” he added.

On a possible fourth wave of the covid pandemic, the health minister said there’s a need to be alert. The last Covid mutation was BF.7 sub-variant of Omicron, and now XBB1.16 sub-variant is causing the surge in infections, he said, adding that in the ministry’s experience, sub-variants are not too dangerous.

“Whenever a new variant is detected, we identify and isolate it in a lab. We then study the efficacy of vaccines on them. So far, our vaccines have worked against all present variants,” he said.

The CoWIN platform has provided all vaccination data, which has helped greatly, Mr Mandaviya said and revealed that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been studying the link between strokes and Covid for the last three-four months, and the study will be completed in the next two months.

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