Coronavirus reinfection cases in India: What we know so far; Here is what Centre, ICMR, WHO revealed

Coronavirus reinfection in India: Experts have revealed that the prospect of Covid-19 reinfection could have a “profound impact” on how the nations through the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters image)

Coronavirus reinfection in India: In India, three Covid-19 reinfection cases have been “described”, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Two of them were detected in Mumbai and one in Ahmedabad, as per details provided by ICMR Director General (DG) Balram Bhargava. ICMR has also fixed a cutoff of 100 days for reinfection “if it occurs.”

Terming Coronavirus reinfection as a ‘problem’, Bhargava said it was first ‘described’ through a case from Hong Kong and then a few cases were ‘described’ in India. The ICMR DG has said that “some data” has been received from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and these data revealed that there around 24 Covid-19 reinfection cases in the world at the moment. ICMR is looking at its database and finding out those who have had reinfection and making contact to get some information out of them, said Bhargava.

The ICMR DG has said that the WHO is yet to decide the definition of Coronavirus reinfection and its date — 90 days, 100 days, or 110 days. The Government of India is calculating the cutoff of about 100 days if reinfection occurs based on the ICMR’s assumption of the life of antibodies. However, Bhargava mentioned that “…it’s work in progress.”

Earlier on October 11, talking about the Coronavirus reinfection cases, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that there are several reports of such cases surfacing in states. However, Dr. Vardhan noted that “careful analysis of ICMR database” has revealed that “many of these cases have actually been misclassified as reinfections.” The Union Health Minister categorically stated that it is pivotal to “differentiate mislabeled reinfection” from ‘actual’ cases of Coronavirus reinfection.

Dr. Vardhan had said that “actual reinfection” means when a fully recovered person gets infected by a freshly introduced virus in his or her body. This virus must belong to the “same or different strain”. ICMR has been commissioning a study to ascertain the “true burden” of Coronavirus re-infected cases, the Union Health Minister said adding that outcome of the study would be shared in a “couple of weeks”.

Meanwhile, Coronavirus-infected patients may experience more severe symptoms the second time they are infected and it is possible to catch the highly contagious disease of Covid-19 more than once, as per an AFP report. The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal has published a study that talks about the first confirmed case of Covid-19 reinfection in the US and indicates that exposure to the SARS-CoV2 may not guarantee future immunity. It was found out that the second infection was more severe than the first, the report says.

Experts have revealed that the prospect of Covid-19 reinfection could have a “profound impact” on how the nations through the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. This could also influence the research for the elusive Coronavirus vaccine, the report says.

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