ISLAMABAD: While a comparative data analysis of the first and second waves of novel coronavirus indicates that in Pakistan the first wave was more deadly, health experts conclude that as the virus has mutated itself the continuing wave may prove deadlier.
The government says, however, that both waves influenced the masses in the same manner, with the only exception being the cold weather.
Health ministry officials and doctors believe that this time, instead of running to hospitals, most people tend to sit indoors and practise self-isolation. During the new surge, only people with serious symptoms were taken to hospitals.
The first case of the novel coronavirus disease was identified in Pakistan on 26 February, according to a graph of Covid-19 available cases with Dawn. The number of reported regular cases rose to 1,083 on 4 May, 2,255 on 13 May, 3,039 on 31 May, 4,344 on 3 June (14 weeks after the outbreak), 5,485 on 10 June and 6,825 on 14 June. As the number of cases continued to decrease afterward, in less than 16 weeks, the daily tally curve reached the highest point during the first surge.
Govt sees no difference between two waves except cold weather
In September, cases fell below 300 a day and the curve remained almost straight until October 20, after which the number of daily cases increased to 1,000 again. The daily count of new cases rose to 2,000 on Nov 10, passed the 3,000 threshold on Nov 24, soared to 3,795 on Dec 6 (seven weeks after the resurgence).
The curve indicates that on 31 March and 22.24pc on 1 June before decreasing, the positivity of Covid-19 cases, which is calculated by positive cases per 100 samples, was 11.79 percent. On Sept 7, when the positive rating of 1.7pc was reported, it was the lowest. It climbed to 9.71pc on Dec 7 after the revival in cases during the last weeks of October.
‘Virus has mutated’
As Prof. Dr. Javaid Usman, a microbiologist, spoke to Dawn, he said that the number of new cases during the second wave was greater than what was being reported, as many people were not reporting.
The virus itself has mutated. It was M-614 earlier. It is called 614-G now. Its protein-based material i.e. Aspartate has been supplemented with Glycine, which has raised the amount of spikes on the virus, becoming more transmissible and more contagious.
In the United States, 100,000 individuals became poisoned, but the number of infections each day reached 200,000 during the second wave, and deaths jumped from 1,000 to 3,000 a day. Earlier deaths have been reported in older individuals (over 80 years), but now deaths are reported in younger individuals (over 70 years),’ he added.
Dr. Usman said it was found that there were less chances of full recovery” as even after being declared null, people were getting problems. He said people got tired fast, their heart rate rose and they faced respiratory problems.
Secretary General Dr Qaisar Sajjad of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) claimed many people were not being screened during the revived surge. The majority of people leave themselves after getting symptoms and they stay in isolation for 14 days. I’m worried that the masses would be more troublesome at the end of December and January, since a substantial number of people may be affected [by then],’ he added, noting that the virus had mutated itself and it was found that people died within a week of being infected.
“135 doctors has expired so far,” he said.
Requesting anonymity, an official from the Ministry of National Health Services said there was no proof to show that the country’s second wave of Covid-19 was more serious than the first, “but if trends continue, it is likely to be so.”
He said even asymptomatic cases with positive Covid-19 tests have been rushing for hospital admissions in the first wave. But in the second wave, only people with extreme symptoms turned to hospitals because they either did not test themselves for rest or chose home isolation over hospitalisation.
‘Peak by year end or next month’
However this wave is predicted to last longer as propagation prefers low temperatures. The official said, “We may see a peak towards the end of December and that may remain throughout January.”
Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health, told Dawn that the virus was a living being. Instead of copying Ribonucleic acid, it corrupted itself (RNA). It is the same problem when the son of a guy looks a little different from him. It may be helpful, damaging and neutral to the mutation. Most mutations stay neutral, so people need not think about it,’ said the PM’s assistant.
“He said: “I don’t think there is any distinction between the pandemic’s first and second waves. Many people attended hospitals in the first surge, since Covid-19 was a new virus and there was little or no awareness among the masses. Individuals are now mindful of it and tend to live in silence until healing.
Dr Sultan said winters could be troublesome in reaction to a comment, as individuals (families) tended to sit in one room together. We shut windows because they lack sunlight and they increase the chances of infection. I recommend that they pay attention to airflow. In comparison, individuals should not get ultraviolet rays,’ he added.
The epidemic has taken as many as 8,487 lives across the nation so far.