Herd immunity developed against coronavirus cannot be a strategic option or choice for a country like India with a huge population, said an official from the Union Health Ministry on Thursday.

Herd immunity is a kind of indirect protection from an infectious disease like COVID-19. Experts say that herd immunity happens only when the population becomes immune either through vaccination or its immunity is developed through a previous infection.
“In a country like India with its size and population, herd immunity cannot be a strategic choice or strategic option. It can only be an outcome and that too, a very high cost. That means, thousands or lakhs of patients get infected, they go to a hospital for treatment, resulting in a large fatality, and hence, herd immunity can never be a strategic option,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at the union health ministry.

“Herd immunity can only be achieved through immunization and that is far in future and it is important that we should follow Covid-19 preventive measures i.e. wear face masks, maintain social distancing and hand hygiene,” said Bhushan.

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India witnessed a single-day spike of 52,123 COVID-19 positive cases as the total cases in the country reached 15,83,792, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday.

The including 5,28,242 active cases and 10,20,582 cured/discharged cases, the Health Ministry added. A total of 775 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours taking the death toll to 34,968.

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