Responding to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) warning of a new COVID-19 wave, AIIMS Doctor and Epidemiologist Dr Sanjay K Rai on Friday said that it is unlikely if a large population has already been already infected by the virus.
The WHO had earlier warned of a massive COVID-19 wave in Europe and Central Asia. It also said that over 5,00,000 deaths (combined) are likely in this region by February 2022.
“When large populations get infected, massive waves of the virus are unlikely. Natural infections lead to natural immunity which leads to a decline in the number of cases. Vaccinations also reduce disease severity and deaths. It will happen in Russia and Central Asia. A wave of infections is going on there, but this will reduce by February. This happened everywhere, including in India. A large amount of the population was infected, then cases started to decline rapidly. Whenever the cases rise rapidly, they decline quickly too,” he said.
He, however, said it was likely that the regions could touch the mark of 5,00,000 deaths by February and even vaccinations would not bring the rising deaths to a sudden halt.
He added that WHO was losing its credibility on the global stage.
“It has been giving controversial statements. It has not been able to figure out the origins of COVID-19. It took them over 1.5 years to understand that natural infections are giving protection to the people but they are still not giving much weightage to it,” he said.
Amid increasing COVID-19 cases in Europe and Central Asia, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday warned of rising cases and deaths. According to the WHO, every single country in Europe and Central Asia is facing a real threat of COVID-19 resurgence or is already fighting it.