The Recent Rise of Indian Covid-19 Cases Display The Dangers Of SARS-CoV-2 Variants

In mere weeks, the second wave of Covid-19 to hit India has gone from bad to worse. At the beginning of March, seven-day averages in India were around 15,000 cases per day. By late April, the rate reached almost 300,000. Today, infection numbers are spiraling out of control. The new B.1.617 variant, while not the only contributing factor, is likely the driving force behind the surge, displaying for all to see the dangers of the mutant SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in India and around the world.

After a modest increase in cases last summer, infection rates dropped and remained low, raising hopes that India might escape the disastrous fate of similarly populous countries like the United States and Brazil. It was widely believed that the higher temperatures of the spring months, which hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in major metropolitan areas, would slow the virus and keep people safely outdoors. But despite the heat, case numbers climbed to heights never before seen. This suggests not only that the summer won’t offer a reprieve, but also that the new variants are likely far more contagious than previous strains.

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.