A third wave of COVID-19 will surely come and it may spread faster and wider but don't know when, says advisor to the Indian government

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A third wave of COVID-19 will surely come and it may spread faster and wider but don't know when, says advisor to the Indian government
Experts worry about a third wave of COVID even as India battles the second oneBCCL
  • Even as India grapples with the second wave of COVID-19, the government’s advisor has warned about the possibility of a third wave.
  • According to him, a third wave is inevitable, going by the higher levels of coronavirus circulating in the country.
  • He also said that while vaccines are effective currently, they will need to be updated to deal with new strains.
A third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is inevitable given the higher levels of coronavirus circulating in the country, said Indian government’s principal scientific advisor K VijayRaghavan.

"A phase three is inevitable, given the higher levels of circulating virus but it is not clear on what time scale this phase three will occur. We should prepare for new waves," K VijayRaghavan said during the press conference.

“Scientists of India and all over the world are working to anticipate these kinds of variants and act against them rapidly by early warning and developing modified tools. It's an intense research program, happening in India and abroad,” he added.

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India has already lost over 2.25 lakh people to COVID-19 infections, a lot more in the second wave that has peaked in the last month and a half. The peak of coronavirus infections in the first wave, in September 2020 was 6.3 million. Compared to that, the total infections currently have crossed 20 million.

What made the second wave worse was the lack of planning given the poor state of health infrastructure in the country where there is only one hospital bed for 2,000 people, according to the United Nations Human Development Report 2020.

A lot of the deaths have been blamed on the poor preparation from genome sequencing to ensuring adequate supply of hospital beds and oxygen, as well as sourcing of vaccines.

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The government of India has come under severe criticism for downplaying the threat of the second wave and allowing (even participating) public gatherings and election rallies, including those held by the Prime Minister.

The government also said, “Long Covid-19 wave of such ferocity we are seeing was not predicted.” However, reports suggest that the government had ignored warnings from scientists about the second wave, weeks before there was an explosion in new cases.

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