Covid-19 virus type has changed since June, says expert in Pune

In June and July as per our studies, in Nashik, Pune and Satara districts there were four different types. However, as we stepped into unlock there was only 20B found, says Dr Yogesh Shouche
By Namrata Devikar | Hindustan Times, Pune
UPDATED ON DEC 05, 2020 07:20 PM IST
As part of the curtain-raiser of IISF organised by National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), chief guest AB Pandit, Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai vice-chancellor delivered an online talk on “Expected impact of the new National Education Policy (NEP) and National Innovation and Start-Up Policy (NISP) on Future Research.”(Bloomberg/Representative Photo)

The scientist emeritus at the National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS) Dr Yogesh Shouche made a key observation on Covid-19 during a webinar on Friday.

According to Dr Shouche, the Covid virus type detected in June and July earlier this year in various states is different than the 20B type found now.

He was talking on, “Changing nature and current status of Covid-19” during the curtain-raiser for the India International Science Festival (IISF 2020) organised by NCCS online.

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“In June and July as per our studies, in Nashik, Pune and Satara districts there were four different types. However, now, we have seen only 20B. As we stepped into unlock there was only 20B found,” said Dr Shouche.

He further said that the second wave of Covid-19 has affected many countries and that infectious diseases have multiple waves.

“The same is with Covid-19. We have to yet understand how severe Covid-19 will be during the second wave. However, we are surer now, of the treatment modality,” said Dr Shouche. He further said that the virus may affect differently now.

“There are changes in the virus. Also, the virus may behave differently in different types of weather for the second wave. We can see throughout the world that the cases are increasing. Italy, Germany and Russia have witnessed the second wave. The numbers have reduced now,” said Dr Shouche.

As part of the curtain-raiser of IISF organised by National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), chief guest AB Pandit, Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai vice-chancellor delivered an online talk on “Expected impact of the new National Education Policy (NEP) and National Innovation and Start-Up Policy (NISP) on Future Research.”

Pandit initiated his talk stating that the research institutes need to be ready for the course correction or re-orientation of the research efforts which are being made.

“It is important to understand the necessity of the NEP and NISP and what it addresses. It is a general perception that we are producing a large number of degree holders with very little or no capability,” said Pandit.

Pandit also said in the last few decades the industrial automation has taken over, the kind of skill-sets which were required for the graduating students was not necessarily addressed in terms of the requirements of the industry.

“The automation has improved the quality of the products and the syllabus was never addressing the changing needs and skill-sets of the industry,” said Pandit.

He further underlined that it is not possible for us to see the impacts of the NEP and NISP right away but five years down the line, it will be visible.

He highlighted that the NEP was formulated in such a way that the first eight years, the students will essentially address the foundations including basic maths, language literacy, the environmental concerns and the relationship between action and reaction, and cause and effect phenomenon.

“The syllabus will be continuously being revised being in the dynamics equilibrium with the surroundings and environmental and industrial needs,” said Pandit.

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