All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Chief Dr Randeep Guleria has predicted that the third wave of COVID-19 is “inevitable” in India and may even hit the country within the next six to eight weeks, reported NDTV.
Speaking to NDTV, Dr Guleria said that as various parts of the country begin unlocking and relaxing restrictions, a lack of COVID-appropriate behaviour has been observed.
"“We don’t seem to have learnt from what happened between the first and the second wave. Again crowds are building up... people are gathering. It will take some time for the number of cases to start rising at the national level. But it could happen within the next six to eight weeks... may be a little longer.”" - AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria
According to him, the timing of the third wave will depend on how the country proceeds in terms of COVID-appropriate behaviour and managing crowds. He also said that while a new wave can take up to three months, it can also take much less time depending on various factors, reported NDTV.
Dr Guleria said it is “worrying” that the gap between two waves is narrowing.
Stressing on the importance of vaccination, Dr Guleria said that unless the population is vaccinated, the country will remain vulnerable in the coming months. He also reiterated the need for strict surveillance, specially in hotspots, as the virus mutates.
So far, only about 5 percent of India’s eligible population has been vaccinated.
Delhi HC Takes Cognisance of Violations of Health Protocols
On Friday, the Delhi High Court took suo motu cognisance of the violations of health protocols in Delhi's market spaces and observed that such contraventions will expedite the third wave of the coronavirus.
The Bench cited the photographs sent by a healthcare worker at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), depicting street vendors flouting COVID protocols in markets. According to LiveLaw, the court observed, “The memory of the second wave has not left us, yet people behave in this manner. This is very unfortunate.”
The Delhi High Court asked the central and state governments to undertake stringent measures to prevent the next surge and directed for the deployment of the police and civil defence in marketplaces to ensure social distancing measures as well as wearing of masks can be ensured.
Third Wave in India by October: Experts
Meanwhile, a recently conducted Reuters poll of medical experts has found that the third wave of COVID is likely to hit India by October.
According to the report, over 85 percent of respondents said that the next wave will hit by October, while three of the respondents predicted that it would hit in August and 12 said September. Three others forecasted that it could hit between November and February.
However, 70 percent of the experts told Reuters that any new wave would be better controlled than the second wave which left a devastating mark on the country.
(With inputs from Reuters, NDTV and LiveLaw.)
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