The Centre on Thursday said India cannot rely on herd immunity as a strategy option in the battle against COVID-19. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said herd immunity is not an option for a populous country like India.
Herd immunity is a term used to describe a stage where enough people become resistant to a disease to stop its spread. It can be achieved naturally or via a vaccine.
Health ministry officials during a press conference on Thursday said: “Herd immunity is an indirect protection from a disease. This saves a population from a disease. But it develops when a vaccine is developed or when a population has already suffered and recovered from it. Herd immunity in India is not an option.”
The officials added that India can hope to achieve herd immunity only after a vaccine against COVID-19 has been developed.
‘Herd immunity sans vaccine will come at a great cost’
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan clarified that achieving herd immunity sans a vaccine would come at a great cost for India. Considering India’s population of 138 crore, achieving herd immunity would require crores of people to get sick, he said. The bureaucrat added that such a situation would result in the health infrastructure getting crippled, that would lead to numerous deaths.
Also Read: COVID-19 update: Gujarat cases cross 60,000
The question on herd immunity is being raised after a serosurveys in Delhi and Mumbai. The report indicated that almost 25 per cent of Delhi’s population and half of Mumbai’s slum population has suffered and recovered from coronavirus.
India’s COVID-19 tally nearing 16 lakh
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has informed that 52,123 fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India in the past 24 hours. It is the biggest single-day surge in COVID-19 cases recorded in the country ever since the pandemic began.
The addition of the fresh cases has taken the COVID-19 case count in the country to 15.83 lakh.
35,000 COVID-19 deaths so far
The ministry’s latest data updated on Thursday provides that 775 people succumbed to the deadly infection in a day. The addition of the fresh fatalities has taken the country’s coronavirus death toll to 34,968.
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