‘There is a better understanding of COVID-19 now’

The World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Saturday said lockdowns were not needed since there was a better understanding of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Speaking to presspersons at an event in which a nutrition garden was inaugurated at Thiruvanmiyur by Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, she said, “During the first wave, we did not know much about it, which was why many countries imposed lockdowns.”

The three Cs — close contact, crowds and close settings — were the key to the spread of the disease, she said, urging people to wear masks.

Ms. Swaminathan underscored the need for elders and those with co-morbidities to take the booster dose of the vaccine.

She said COVID-19 was yet another disease like influenza and there was a need to focus on the preventive aspects such as regular walking, exercise, balanced diet and maintaining weight according to height.

The garden was established by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, in collaboration with Rotary Club of Madras East, to improve nutrition literacy among people.

Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation, and M. Nachiappan, Director–Environment, Rotary Club of Madras East, were present on the occasion.

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