COVID-19: Third-wave inevitable and imminent, likely to hit India by August-end, says ICMR

NEW DELHI: Top medical experts around the world, including top scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), have reiterated that the onset of the third wave of COVID-19 has begun.

According to these experts, the COVID-19 third wave is likely to hit India by the end of August. However, they say that it may not be as intense as the second wave.

The ICMR, in a study called, ‘Plausibility of the third wave of COVID-19 in India: A mathematical modelling-based analysis,’ has elaborated reasons that could possibly lead to the third wave in the country.

As per the ICMR study, the third wave in India could be triggered by multiple factors, with the first being, drop in the acquired immunity from the first and the second wave. Another reason for the new wave could possibly be an emergence of a variant that bypasses the immunity acquired from the previous variants.

Additionally, higher transmissibility from a new variant could be a major driving factor that would lead the country into a third wave of the pandemic.

Apart from this, reasons including lower caution by states and premature easing of restrictions could lead to a surge in the number of new cases in the country.

Meanwhile, the top doctor’s body in the country, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), has also emphasized that the third wave is “inevitable and imminent.”

The IMA has also warned individuals and institutions which are not adhering to the Centre’s appropriate COVID-19 protocols. They have reiterated that “both the government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings.”

The WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had recently, warned the world that the third wave was in its “early stage,” driven by the Delta variant of the virus. Furthermore, the Chief added, “We expect it to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide if it isn’t already.”

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