New Delhi: Even as India reels under the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns over about a possible third wave, experts claimed that if people keep following COVID-appropriate behaviour and more people get vaccinated the next wave could be less severe.
Many experts opined that the complacency in approach towards the virus after the dip in cases during the first wave could be a possible reason for the pandemic rearing its ugly head again, though others are blaming the new virulent, mutated variants of the coronavirus.
“Early this year, as the new cases receded, people started interacting as if there was no virus. The immunity had already started declining. They organised mass gatherings, they stopped wearing masks, giving the opportunity to the virus to strike again,” Dr Anurag Agarwal, director, Institute of Genomics and Integral Biology was quoted by PTI.
While some experts belives that every mutation cannot be a cause of concern and genome sequencing of a virus is done to keep a track of any mutation that can make a virus more dangerous.
Dr Saumitra Das, Director, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG ), Kalyani, and professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore said, “What concerns us is whether a mutation is making it more transmissible, or virulent; whether a mutation has the potential to make the existing medicines or vaccines ineffective against the virus. If so, the mutant is classified as a variant of concern (VoC).”
Last week, K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, had said that the third wave was inevitable and it was necessary to be prepared for new waves, but clarified two days later that the “insidious asymptomatic transmission” can be stopped if prescribed guidelines about precautions, surveillance, containment, treatment and testing are followed.
“If we take strong measures, the third wave may not happen in all places or indeed anywhere at all. It depends on much how effectively guidance is implemented at the local level in the states, districts and cities everywhere,” he said.
Experts have warned that in a few months people would have developed immunity naturally or with the help of vaccination and when that fades the virus will strike again and the only thing that can stop the virus from bouncing back is how people are guarding themselves.
Meanwhile, India recorded 4,03,738 fresh COVID-19 cases pushing the country’s cumulative tally to 2,22,96,414, while the death toll climbed to 2,42,362 with 4,092 daily deaths, on Sunday morning as per data released by the Union Health Ministry.