Third wave of Covid-19 likely to hit India by October

A group of medical experts surveyed by news agency Reuters predicted that a third wave Covid-19 is likely to hit India by October. Although the situation will be better controlled than the outbreak of the second wave, this pandemic will remain a public health concern for at least another year.

Forty healthcare specialists, doctors, scientists, virologists, epidemiologists, and professors worldwide were quizzed by Reuters for snap survey conducted from June 3-17.

Of those who predicted that there would be a third wave, more than 85% of respondents, or 21 of 24, said it would be hit by October, including three who forecasted it to arrive by August and 12 gave a timeline in September. The remaining three predicted it to arrive between November and February.

However, more than 70% of experts, or 24 of 34, said any possible outbreak would be better controlled compared to the second wave. The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating, the country registered many deaths due to a shortage of vaccines, medicines, oxygen and hospital beds. But since then, the daily cases and death have been declining, partly as the State governments imposed lockdown.

“The third wave will be more controlled, as cases will be much less because more vaccinations would have been rolled out and there would be some degree of natural immunity from the second-wave,” said Dr Randeep Guleria, director at All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

The agency reported that so far, India has only fully vaccinated about 5% of its 950 million estimated population, which leaves many millions vulnerable to infections and deaths.

However, the experts seemed concerned over the impact of a potential third wave on children and those under 18 years. Nearly 26 out of 40 experts said yes, while 14 said that would not be the case.

30 of 41 experts said that coronavirus would remain a public health threat in India for at least one more year.

(Inputs from agencies)

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