Ballad doctor who warned Delta’s impact in India could affect US says pandemic end was ‘prematurely’ celebrated

Local Coronavirus Coverage

(WJHL) — A Ballad Health official who warned that the Delta variant’s devastating impact in India could happen in the U.S. says it is not too late to improve the COVID-19 situation here at home.

The Delta variant was first identified in India and led to the country reporting more than 300,000 new cases per day in late April.

In May, Dr. Amit Vashist, Ballad’s chief clinical officer, warned the U.S. could experience a similar situation if people do not get vaccinated and follow the proper precautions.

On Thursday, he said the U.S. made some of the same mistakes that India did; however, it is not too late to improve the situation.

“We, I think, prematurely celebrated the end of the pandemic for people who were not vaccinated,” Vashist said. “Not only did they not choose to get vaccinated when their turns came, but they also chose to drop the mask, not to socially distance.”

Vashist said as long as a substantial number of people remain unvaccinated, the virus will keep spreading and mutating.

“The message is plain and simple: this ain’t over yet,” he said. “The virus, by the nature of it will continue to mutate, and sometimes mutations can turn lethal into some more deadlier strains.”

Vashist said vaccinations, wearing face masks, and practicing social distances are the only way to stop the spread of the virus.

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