India is likely to be hit by the third wave of coronavirus at the end of August, although the intensity will be a little lesser than the second wave, Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research, said. An NDTV report quoted Dr Panda as saying, “There would be a nationwide third wave but that does not mean that it would be as high or as intense as the second wave."
Dr Panda pointed out four factors that could lead to the third wave. The first is the drop in immunity acquired from the first and second wave. “If that goes down, it could lead to a third wave," he said.
The second factor, according to him, is a new variant that can bypass the immunity acquired. Even if the variant does not bypass immunity, it might have a tendency to circulate faster, which he presented as the third factor.
The fourth factor is the premature lifting of restrictions by states, leading to a fresh surge, Dr Panda said.
Asked if the variant involved could be Delta Plus, he said both Delta and Delta Plus have swept the country and added that he was not expecting any more public health havoc from the Delta variant.
Earlier this week, the Indian Medical Association said that the third wave is “inevitable and imminent", pointing out that “in many parts of the country both the government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols".
The Centre, on Thursday, raised with the states the issue of violations in COVID-19 norms in many parts of the country. Few days back, the Health Ministry also said the people are taking predictions about the third wave about as seriously as “weather predictions".
Earlier today, the World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the world is in the “early stages" of the third wave of Covid-19, driven by the Delta variant of the virus.
“We expect it to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide if it isn’t already," the WHO chief had said.