'Covid 3rd wave will depend on...': Govt's expert panel chief NK Arora lists 3 points, talks about Delta Plus

Published on Jun 27, 2021 02:37 PM IST

New variants are linked to fresh waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Delta Plus variant, which has been found in 51 cases in the country so far, alone may not lead to a third wave, Dr NK Arora said.

Delta Plus variant alone is not likely to be responsible for a possible third wave of Covid-19 in the country, experts have said. (PTI)
Delta Plus variant alone is not likely to be responsible for a possible third wave of Covid-19 in the country, experts have said. (PTI)
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India is receding and Delta Plus, the new variant of Delta, has created fresh concerns as all epidemiologists have predicted a third wave of the pandemic as almost inevitable. But Delta Plus can not be yet linked to a third wave of the pandemic, Covid-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation chief Dr NK Arora has said. But he asserted that as variants are linked to new waves, the possibility can not be dismissed at all.

"Waves are linked to new variants or new mutations so there is a possibility as this is a new variant, but whether it will lead to a third wave it is difficult to answer as it will depend upon two or three things," Dr Arora told PTI.

Explained: Delta Plus variant symptoms and how to protect yourself

The variant alone may not hit the country hard, Dr Arora said, as there are three other factors that will also control the new wave of the pandemic if it comes.

First, the third wave will depend on what proportion of the population got infected in the second wave. "If a large proportion is infected then in the next wave people can develop a common cold-like illness but may not develop a serious or fatal illness," Dr Arora said.

Second, if the vaccination drive goes on with this speed, then a huge number of people will become immune by the time the third wave comes. "...the rapidity with which we vaccinate...even single dose is effective and the way we are planning, if we rapidly immunise then the possibility of a third wave becomes very less," Dr Arora said.

Third, strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, including wearing of the masks, maintaining physical distance, will protect from any variant, a point that experts have been emphasising.

Delta and Delta Plus

While Delta, the variant first reported in India, is highly transmissible, the same can not be said about Delta Plus as the variant has been present in India for the last two months. The presence of the variant is localised and experts have said there is not enough evidence to corroborate that the variant is spreading vast or is more dangerous than Delta, or is immune-escape.

Delta, on the other hand, was one of the major factors behind the second wave of the pandemic in India, scientists have agreed and now it has spread across 174 districts of the country.

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