COVID-19 re-infection possible once antibodies reduce in recovered persons: ICMR Director-General

20 October, 2020 | Rakshanda Afrin

Coronavirus cases in India Health & Environment

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday there is a possibility of re-infection if antibodies reduce in the body of a Covid-19 recovered per...

There is a possibility of re-infection, if antibodies reduce in the body of a Covid-19 recovered person in five months time after the recovery, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday. The ICMR DG remarks were made at a union health ministry briefing today, in which he urged people to continue to wear masks and follow coronavirus appropriate behaviour to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“After any infection, antibodies develop in the body. In case of coronavirus, it has been seen that the antibodies last for at least five months. The Covid-19 virus is still evolving and we are learning more about it. If antibodies decrease in the body of a person within five months, then there is a possibility of reinfection and a person may become re-infected with COVID-19. Hence, it is important to take precautions like wearing a mask, even after someone gets the disease once,” Bhargava said.

The main symptoms of coronavirus infection are fever, cough and breathlessness, the ICMR official explained. Commenting upon the World Health Organisation (WHO) Solidarity Trial, the ICMR chief said, “WHO solidarity trial is a 30-country trial in which India has been a participant and interim results of this have been put on the website, which has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, we find that these drugs (Remdesivir and HCQ) are not performing as good as it was expected.

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“Discussions are being done at joint monitoring group and national task force of COVID19. We will take into cognizance the trial results and issue advisories accordingly,” he said. The trial was conducted from March 22 to October 4 and aimed to study the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in hospitalized patients.

Previously, the trial arms for hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir were discontinued as primarily results had shown no benefit. The Solidarity Trial is the world’s largest global randomized controlled trial in a pandemic situation for COVID -19 therapeutics, spanning 30 countries. India contributed one-tenth of the participants in the trial, said ICMR.

“For capping the price of corona treatment apex court has received several petitions. The Supreme Court has given directions the state and central government which are being followed,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary responding to a question related to fixing the price for Covid-19 treatment. (ANI)

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