New Delhi: India is striving hard to contain coronavirus pandemic along with the world, but the battle against the deadly virus can be won only through an effective strategy. So far, many countries are busy to find a vaccine but how much time will it take is difficult to say.
In such a situation, India may resort to Plan B to fight against COVID-19 through "Herd Immunity", which can prove to be a game changer. Under this plan, the country has to create resistance against the novel coronavirus in a majority of its population.
Herd immunity is related to a scenario under which people develop immunity against some disease and they become immune to that disease. The Herd immunity can be created through a vaccine or people may automatically develop immunity after getting infected with the coronavirus.
This immunity can prove to be a panecea against the COVID-19. This is like injecting a vaccine among children to develop immunity against pneumonia and meningitis, thereby making them immune against such diseases when they become adult. In India, if a large number of people develop resistance against the coronavirus then the pandemic can be overpowered.
The question arises whether the test of herd immunity has started in India or simply a plan is being made to commence it under Plan B. Officially, there is no such effort but the way things are going ahead one should not be surprised if Indians develop immunity against the disease.
Indian districts are divided into three zones of Green, Orange and Red zones. More than 43 per cent of districts fall under the green zone, where people are getting relaxations in the lockdown with certain conditions.
In these areas, residents may undergo Herd immunity test as shops, markets, offices, autos, taxis, bus services, business and industrial activities have started with compliance of social distancing. People are going to other places amid the risk of infection in 43 per cent of the districts. Green zones may provide a clue to the herd immunity and this would ultimately reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.
To some extent, it can be termed as a test of herd immunity because Green Zones have so far not reported even a single COVID-19 case in the last 21 days. On the contrary, the real test of herd immunity would be in the Red Zones when such exemptions are given.
A large number of people would first get infected but eventually develop immunity against it. This would a real example of herd immunity.