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COVID-19 yet not over, we must continue taking precautions: Dr Peter Piot

Updated : January 14, 2021 07:10 PM IST

The countdown has begun for the world's largest immunisation drive as India gears up to vaccinate 3 crore frontline workers starting January 16.

Daily data shows that the infection is largely in control across many parts of the country barring a few exceptions. But, the pandemic is far from over.

Public health experts and government authorities have been repeatedly warning people not to drop their guard and continue all pre-cautionary measures.

Mutant strain in UK, South Africa have kept the world on edge. Scientists in Ohio are also reporting two new mutant strains in the USA.

So where are we in the COVID-19 curve? Is there an end in sight?

In an exclusive interview to Archana Shukla, Dr Peter Piot, professor of global health at London School of Hygiene said, "We can look at 2021 with bit more optimism than the very difficult year that we just have behind us and that is thanks to science, to development of vaccine at unprecedented speed. It normally takes 5-10 years to bring a new vaccine to the market from the lab and to go through all the trials and approvals. Here we have it in about one year or less and that too without taking any shortcuts."

"If we are able to rollout the vaccines at the same speed as they were developed then we will be able to bring this epidemic under control but there are always new challenges. It means also that for the time being we have to continue to respect certain rules like face mask, show some social distancing and so on. So it is not over yet but there is light at the end of the tunnel", he said.

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