ICMR Identifies Three Covid-19 Reinfection Cases In India

India is taking 100 days as the cut-off period in the identification of reinfection of novel coronavirus cases: ICMR chief

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise worldwide, there have been reports of patients getting reinfected with Covid-19.

A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal stated that Covid-19 patients may experience more severe symptoms when they get infected for the second time.

There are about 25 known cases of Covid-19 reinfections in the world. According to the latest report, one of these patients from the Netherlands is the first death from Covid-19 reinfection. The patient, an 89-year-old Dutch-origin woman, is believed to be the first known case of death due to re-infection with coronavirus

Three cases of suspected coronavirus reinfection – two in Mumbai and one in Ahmedabad – that are being looked into, said Dr. Balram Bhargava, director-general (D-G), ICMR, on Tuesday.

Dr. Bhargava said the Indian Council of Medical Research had decided upon a cut-off of 100 days for reinfection if it occurs as according to some studies, antibodies were also assumed to have a life of four months.

“Reinfection was a problem which was first described via a case from Hong Kong. Subsequently, a few cases were described in India – two in Mumbai and one in Ahmedabad,” Bhargava added.

The definition of reinfection, whether it is 90 days, 100 days, or 110 days, is still not decided even by the World Health Organization, according to Bhargava.

However, the government is taking the cutoff of about 100 days if reinfection occurs because that is “what we have assumed as the life of antibodies”, the official said. “So it’s work in progress.”

Referring to the reports of reinfection surfacing in various states, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said, “analysis by the ICMR had revealed that many cases reported as Covid-19 reinfection had been “misclassified” because the RT-PCR tests could detect dead-virus shed for prolonged periods after recovery.”

“Actual reinfection would mean a fully-recovered person getting infected by a freshly-introduced virus in his/her body, belonging to the same or different strain,” he had said.

“ICMR has commissioned a study to look into the cases database and finding out those who have had reinfection and making telephonic contact to get some data out of them. Results will be shared in a couple of weeks,” he added.

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