The tragic sight from India shocked the world as India suffered from Covid’s surge.
But the outbreak is not just a crisis for India, it is a crisis for everyone.
“The virus does not respect borders, nationalities, ages, genders or religions,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization.
“And what is happening in India now is unfortunately happening in other countries as well.”
The pandemic has revealed how the worlds are interrelated. Also, if the infection level in one country is very high, it can spread to other countries.
Even with travel restrictions, multiple tests, and quarantine, infections can be leaked. Also, travelers are more likely to carry the virus if they come from a place where the virus is very widespread. On a recent flight from New Delhi to Hong Kong, about 50 passengers tested positive for Covid-19.
However, there are other concerns about India’s high prevalence. It’s a variant.
A new variant called B.1.617 has emerged in India. It is sometimes called a “double mutant” because there are two important mutations in the viral spike. There is some laboratory evidence suggesting that it is slightly contagious and that antibodies may find it more difficult to block the virus, but scientists still lose how much immunity I’m evaluating.
“I don’t think there is evidence that it is an escape mutation. [which would mean] Basically, it cannot be stopped with a vaccine. ” Dr. Jeff Barrett, director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute’s Covid-19 Genomics Initiative, told BBC News.
“I think we obviously need to watch carefully, but at this point we don’t have to panic about it.”
However, the higher the number of Covid cases in a country, the more likely it is that new variants will emerge. This is because all infections give the virus an opportunity to evolve, and the main concern is that mutations that invalidate the vaccine can occur.
“The way to limit the emergence of virus variants in the first place is to prevent the virus from replicating within us … Therefore, the best way to control variants is actually what we currently have. It’s about controlling the amount of global illness that is happening, “explains Professor Sharon Peacock. Director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium (Cog-UK).
Blockades and social distance measures do this, but vaccination is also essential.
This is happening slowly in India. So far, less than 10% of the population has been vaccinated for the first time and less than 2% have been fully vaccinated.
This is despite the fact that it is home to the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker. And this is another reason why the surge in Indian incidents has a knock-on effect in other parts of the world.
In March, authorities stopped mass exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as infections began to surge in India.
This included a UN-backed Covax scheme vaccine to provide doses to low- and middle-income countries. On Monday, the scheme’s partner, the Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), said it was waiting to hear when supply from India would resume.
This certainly affects the deployment of immunization in many countries. However, that means more Indian vaccines will be diverted to domestic use while trying to expand production.
And in the dire situation of India, scientists say this is a priority.
“We really need to double vaccinations as soon as possible, or the virus will try to do everything it can to keep it spreading from person to person,” says Swaminasan.
Globally, pandemics are showing no signs of mitigation, and the virus is devastating country by country.
The situation in India is a dark memory that not all of us are safe until everyone is safe.
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