Covid 3rd wave: Has it arrived? What government, latest projection reports say
The World Health Organization this week has set the alarm bells ringing as it said that the world is at the very advanced stages of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. This wave is mostly being driven by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, first reported in India. WHO's warning is a red flag for India as well, the Union health ministry has said this week as the fall in the Covid-19 cases in India has slowed down. In India, the Covid-19 situation remains worrisome in some pockets, including some districts in Maharashtra, Kerala and the northeast.
Govt says next 2-3 months crucial
Has the third wave in India set in? Niti Aayog member (health) VK Paul said this week that the present situation in India is under control. But India is far from achieving herd immunity either through vaccination or through natural infection. Hence, the risk remains. The next few months will be very crucial, the government has said.
'Third wave arrived on July 4'
University of Hyderabad pro-vice-chancellor physicist Dr Vipin Srivastava has recently said that the third wave in India has already arrived on July 4. He said July 4 recorded a similar trend like what the first week of February (the beginning of the 2nd wave) saw.
ICMR on third wave
The third wave may hit the nation by August-end, but it will be of less intensity than the second wave. Head of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Samiran Panda has said that the third wave is not inevitable.
Economists' reports on the third wave
UBS Securities India has said the risks of a third wave look real because of the increased presence of the Delta variant and the pace of vaccination.
SBI Research in its report prepared early this month said India may witness the third wave of the pandemic by the second fortnight of August.
Difficult to predict timing: Devi Shetty
Dr Devi Shetty, chairman of the Karnataka Covid expert committee, said it is difficult to predict the timing and the severity of a third wave. "People have to respect COVID appropriate behaviour like social distancing, wearing a mask. These are the things that will protect us. If people behave in an irresponsible manner no government, no anti-biotic no vaccine can protect them. So people have to take the responsibility," he said to ANI.
May be more severe than 2nd wave: Randeep Guleria
AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that there are many possibilities in which the third wave if it comes, may shape up. If an immuno-escape variant of the virus emerges and all restrictions are eased, then the third wave can be more severe than the second wave. Waning immunity, the emergence of a more transmissible variant, and lockdown relaxations will decide the third wave, Dr Guleria said.
IIT scientists' 3 scenarios
At the beginning of this month, a group of IIT scientists project three scenarios in which the situation could go back to normal by August, could continue as it is or could worsen.
Last month, Reuters conducted a poll and predicted that the third wave in India will come by October.