Indian variant: Vaccines 'no longer going to help,' virologist warns

24 April 2021, 13:53 | Updated: 24 April 2021, 14:02

Top Indian virologist warns of mass spread of new variant

By Seán Hickey

One of India's leading scientists gave a harrowing prediction of how the new Covid variant will ravage the country.

Dr Shahid Jameel is director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University and is one of India's top virologists.

Amid the spread of the new variant of coronavirus, he spoke to Matt Frei to explain the gravity of the situation.

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"This may go up to about half a million cases a day," the virologist warned. Dr Jameel went on to note that even once the peak is hit, it will be a long time before cases stabilise.

"We still have about two more weeks of this horror, but on the other side of this peak infections will not just drop down to zero."

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"Vaccines are to prevent the third wave, vaccines are no longer going to help in the second wave," he warned.

Dr Jameel explained that "there was a time when a lot of Indians should have been vaccinated" but because of uncertainty in the EU around some jabs, many Indians were discouraged from getting the vaccine.

"Vaccine hesitancy is not an issue now, but it was," he clarified.

Dr Jameel concluded that many Indians are afraid to come forward if they believe themselves to be symptomatic now, such is the depth of the issue. He explained that many are more fearful of going into hospital, as it is believed that you will definitely catch coronavirus there if you hadn't already.