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Port Blair ,

      I, being a Member of Parliament humbly appeal to all the fellow Islanders to strictly follow the mandatory guidelines issued by the Government of India and Andaman & Nicobar Administration for COVID-19 such as wearing face mask, social distancing, sanitizing of hands, avoid unnecessary travel, RT-PCR tests from the designated labs while returning back from mainland and 100 percent vaccination of 45 plus population and also request the youth of the Islands to help in getting everyone above 45 years of age vaccinated and coordinate with the concerned agency of the Government to enforce the guidelines for our safety since we have to keep in mind that despite vaccination, there should not be lowering of guard and proper precautions should be taken.
    The second wave of Coranavirus pandemic of COVID-19, in country has crossed the peak of the first wave and growth rate is much faster than the earlier and the corona positive cases of COVID-19 are increasing substantially day by day across the country including our Islands since these variants of concerns, which are much more infectious (2-6 times than the original Wuhan strain) are now circulating in 18 States of India.
    Additionally, new local variants of concerns specific to India have been detected. Sequencing has found that the fraction of samples with the E484Q and L452R mutations are much higher now.  All the above mutated strains circulating in India now makes the virus much more dangerous particularly to our Islands since our Islands are the place of tourist destination and tourist from all part of the country come to our Islands and our Islands have limited medical facilities to fight the Coranavirus. The mutations, in addition to significantly increased transmissibility, help the virus escape our immune system, meaning that many who have been previously infected or vaccinated "might" get re-infected.
     The virus is back, this time with more energy, tactics and camouflage. We don't cough. No fever, it's joint pain, weakness, loss of appetite and COVID pneumonia, of course, the death rate is higher, it takes less time to get to the extreme. Sometimes no symptoms.  We have to be more careful. The strain is not domiciled in our nasopharyngeal region. It directly affects the lungs, which means window periods are shortened. Patients without fever, but an x-ray report shows moderate chest pneumonia. The nasal swab is often negative for COVID19.
     There are more and more false pharyngeal nasal tests COVID-19 which means that the virus spreads directly to the lungs causing acute respiratory distress due to viral pneumonia.

(Kuldeep Rai Sharma)
Member of Parliament
A&N Islands