Telangana Health official stresses on vaccination for protection against third wave, serious illness

  • | Monday | 13th September, 2021

Hyderabad, Sep 13 (PTI) Observing that the third wave of COVID-19 may occur only if a new and strong variant emerges, a health official in Telangana on Monday stressed the importance of vaccination for protection against a third wave and serious illness due to the virus."....if a third wave occurs, it would be possible only if a new variant, that too a strong variant emerges. So, if such a situation should not occur and if we should not go back to the situation that existed three months ago, then people should take vaccination compulsorily. Then only, we can protect from COVID third wave or new variants," state Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao told reporters here.He said almost two crore vaccine doses have been given in the state so far. About 54 lakh people have been given both the doses.Noting that 49 per cent of people in the state, who are predominantly residents of rural and semi-urban areas, have not received even a single dose, he said Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has instructed that a special vaccination drive be taken up.Vaccination has been shown to be effective in checking the spread of the virus and in preventing serious illness, according to him.There is no shortage of vaccines in the state at present, he said.He said positivity rate, bed occupancy in hospitals, "R naught factor" and infection rate are fully under control in Telangana.He said a third wave and the virus spread can be checked in the state if vaccination coverage and COVID-appropriate behaviour are ensured."If you take our positivity rate, hospital bed occupancy and the way new variants emerge in the world, vaccination coverage and especially "R naught factor" (how many people a person who is positive can infect), the "R naught factor" in our state is 0.5 per cent, infection rate is also 0.4 per cent.Until and unless, a new variant, that too a strong variant, emerges, there is no possibility of a third wave occurring," he said.Strong variants may not emerge if a large number of people are continued to be vaccinated, he said.He, however, stressed that vaccination and wearing of masks should be ensured as the danger of the coronavirus is not fully gone."However, since the danger is not fully gone, we have only two preventive measures. One is vaccination, second, mask. We can keep the third wave or COVID itself under control by religiously following these two." Rao felt that IT companies in the city can resume work from offices, by following COVID-19 norms, as "almost 100 per cent" vaccination has been done for IT employees and their family members and also in view of the low number of cases in the state.He said thousands of people (in services like cabs, food vendors) are indirectly dependent on the IT companies for livelihood. PTI SJR BN BN

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