Deaths a ‘lagging indicator’ of Covid-19 , will stabilise soon: Leading virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang

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By PTI

VELLORE: India’s leading virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang has said that since the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has stabilized now, the number of deaths due to the virus will also stabilize soon and if it fails to do so then it can only point to an issue with reporting systems.

Kang, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on medical oxygen in an interview to ANI said, “Death is a lagging indicator, it comes two to three weeks after case numbers climb. Now that the numbers have stabilized, we should expect deaths to also stabilize and start to taper off. If they do not, there is an issue with some aspect of our reporting systems.”

The virologist explained that looking at the fatality rate is not a preferred way to measure the current spread of the pandemic as people dying are usually infected at least two to three weeks earlier, which means deaths don’t reflect current spread of the disease.

According to official data issued on Tuesday, India recorded 1,96,427 fresh infections and 3,741 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Regarding the shortage of vaccines across the country, Dr Gagandeep Kang, who is advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister on Covid issues pointed out that vaccinations has slowed down due to slow or limited supply of vaccines, which will go up once companies ramp up their production.

Due to the shortfall of Covid-19 vaccines, several states like Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka have suspended their innocualtion drive agains the novel coronavirus for beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years.

“Another option would be to import vaccines if we could. But globally there is a shortage of vaccines. The only options available are the Russians and the Chinese vaccines. We have to decide, which one we are willing to buy and get those in,” Kang said.

Currently, two Covid-19 vaccines are being manufactured in India – Covishield by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.

India started its Covid vaccination drive on January 16 for the healthcare and frontline workers. Phase 3 of the vaccination drive was started on May 1 for the beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years. 



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