ICMR: Covid-19 third wave likely to hit India by August end

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has projected that the third wave is likely to hit
India by the end of August 2021.
Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at ICMR said that the third
wave is likely to not be as intense as the second wave. The doctor, however, said that while
both Delta and Delta Plus variants had spread across the country, the variants are not expected
to cause any further “public health havoc”.
On Thursday, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria also spoke about the third wave of Covid-19 and
outlines four factors that could lead to the wave. These include:
(1) weak immunity,
(2) the emergence of a more transmissible coronavirus variant capable of escaping the
immunity shield and
(3) lockdown relaxations can be the likely causes of a possible third wave of COVID-19.
He said the third wave can be tackled by following Covid appropriate behaviour such as:
(1) maintaining social distancing,
(2) using masks, and
(3) taking vaccine.
He said several studies and modelling have been conducted to project the trajectory of a
possible third wave of the pandemic under different scenarios.
“One such model from an IIT shows that if all restrictions are lifted and if a virus (variant) is also
able to escape immunity then the next wave can be bigger than the second wave.
“If some restrictions are kept and the virus also remains stable then cases will not be much and
if we keep more restrictions then cases will further reduce,” he said.
Guleria said even if new variants emerge, the available vaccines can be improved. The third
wave of COVID-19 is being seen in other countries but hospitalisation has come down,
indicating that the vaccines are working. He also said that apart from Covaxin, Covishield and
Sputnik V, several other vaccines are in the making, in the country.
ICMR’s predictions comes days after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called pilgrimage and
tourism as potential super spreaders for the third wave of Covid 19 and warned states to stop
mass gatherings.
It also comes hours after WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that the world
was already in the “early stages” of the third phase of the pandemic.

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