Hyderabad

Stop all political, religious gatherings, scientists urge govts

No crowd control: Police personnel managing a sea of humanity during Bonalu festivities in Secunderabad earlier this week.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

Distinguished scientist and chairman of National Academy of Sciences-India, Hyderabad chapter, Ch. Mohan Rao on Wednesday urged governments to put a halt to all kind of political, religious and other ‘non-productive’ gatherings along with keeping the cinema halls and clubs shut to prevent any further outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most certainly the third wave will come, if we invite it. We must be careful to see that cases due to people gathering do not rise any further because it will only lead to more mutations in the virus,” he warned, opening the webinar on COVID-19 pandemic in which top scientists from across the country participated.

Dr. Rao, also a former CSIR-CCMB director, said any COVID variant can cause harm “only if it enters the body”, therefore the simple solution is to stop that is by wearing face masks properly, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently.

“This has been the effective norm since 1911. We have handled pandemics before and have so far done fairly well. We will eventually come out of it. Our medical understanding of the pathology, making of diagnostic kits quickly and the vaccines has been good,” he observed.

While most of the indigenous work has been based on available scientific material, the scientist felt that there was a good scope for innovation in testing and diagnostic equipment like a quicker test akin to a breath analyser. Former ICMR director general V.M.Katoch said vaccines alone will not end the pandemic but with social vaccine, testing and isolation of positive cases. Standard operating protocols for treatment, offices and schools was the need of the hour.

ICMR-NIN’s Bhanuprakash Reddy said infection and malnutrition go together and that diet of cereals, pulses, milk products, fruits and vegetables was essential. AIIMS doctor Neeraj Nishchal and CDRI ex-director V.P. Kamboj also spoke while former DBT secretary Manju Sharma acknowledged ‘outstanding work’ by scientists Rakesh Mishra and Anurag Agrawal on COVID.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:24:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/stop-all-political-religious-gatherings-scientists-urge-govts/article35591613.ece

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