31 Aug 2021: Third COVID-19 wave could be less severe than second: ICMR
A possible third wave of the coronavirus in India will likely be less severe than the devastating previous wave in April-May, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). This finding was backed by the Indian medical body and Imperial College of London's CHROMIC model, The Times of India reported. Experts have said the third wave could hit India between September and October.
Details: Delhi, Maharashtra may see a decline in the new wave
As per the said model, states or districts that had witnessed a comparatively higher number of cases in the second wave (like Delhi and Maharashtra), may see a decline now, and vice-versa. The main reason cited for that is the immunity acquired by people from natural infections in the past wave and/or post-vaccination, which will help keep cases and hospitalizations low.
Fact: 'Vaccination will help reduce burden on health system'
"We have already reiterated that vaccines will not prevent infection, only mitigate the severity. Vaccination also prevents death. This in turn will help reduce the burden on the healthcare system," said Dr. Samiran Panda, the head of ICMR's communicable diseases division.
Statement: Projections should be made from local data: Dr. Panda
Dr. Panda also said that state- and district-wise data should be used for third wave-related projections. "Nobody can predict the third wave for the whole country...The wave may rear its head only if states remove restrictions prematurely," he stated. He added that a potential new variant could also push up the caseload, warning states against allowing gatherings or relaxing rules.
Projection: Expert says third wave could peak at 1,00,000 cases
Meanwhile, Manindra Agrawal, an IIT-Kanpur scientist working on projections for the pandemic, said if no new strain emerges, the COVID-19 situation in the country is expected to remain the same as it is currently. Even if a new variant is reported, the intensity of the third wave is likely to be lesser than the second, peaking around 1,00,000 daily cases, he added.
Situation: India's outbreak has stagnated since peaking in May
India's deadly second wave of the pandemic had peaked in May at 4,14,000 cases. The country's outbreak has since stagnated, with daily cases hovering around 40,000 for several weeks now. In the past 24 hours, India reported 30,941 fresh cases. India's vaccination drive has also picked pace, with more than 64 crore doses administered till date. Over 35% have received at least one shot.
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