While India is still encountering and putting in its very best to combat the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the virus only seems to be getting deadlier. Several health experts continue to do meticulous research. They suggest that the third wave of the virus is, in fact, inevitable in the upcoming months. K. VijayRaghavan, the principal scientific advisor of the government, warned that the government must prepare for the new virus mutants.
That being said, it is every individual’s responsibility to follow public health protocols while the healthcare professionals work towards serving the infected. Read on to learn more about what you should know about the third wave of Covid-19.
Third wave: Is it bound to happen?
The government’s inadequate preparation for the second wave of Covid-19 left the nation at a significant loss. From the insufficient number of oxygen beds to new variants that caused severe symptoms among the infected, the lack of preparation led to several people grieving for their loved ones who were snatched away during this wave. The healthcare authorities and officials who worked against all odds in the second wave have already started taking the necessary measures to prepare for the third wave.
The principal scientific advisor has termed the third wave as inevitable, which left people worried. Nonetheless, the advisor further commented that the third wave could be avoided if the government takes strict action and people follow necessary measures to avoid getting infected by the virus. Many hospitals and local administrations have supposedly ramped up their infrastructure to serve newly infected individuals.
How is a wave in a pandemic defined?
A pandemic wave briefly describes the declining and rising trends of the infection over an extended course of time. A growth curve represents the shape of a wave. During the second wave, Covid-19 cases hit their peak in April and May, 2021. Nonetheless, certain periods of the surge were noted, followed by a correlative lull in every geography. This, however, wasn’t the case in India. There were only two extremely distinct periods of the surge, separated by an extended lull.
How can one identify the third wave if it arrives?
Nationwide discussions and research are going on about the third wave that will likely hit India in the upcoming months. The national curve for the infection has entered the declining phase as of now, having reached its peak during the first week of May. The last two weeks of June have seen a significant drop in the new Covid-19 cases. If this trend continues, the case count will drop to the same as what it was in February. Nonetheless, if there is a new surge after this and a rise in new cases continues for a significant amount of time, it will be known as the third wave.
How critical will the third wave be?
There are speculations that the upcoming wave might be much more hazardous than the first and second. However, it is merely speculation. Often, experts suggest that every new wave of a pandemic is comparatively weaker than the earlier one. This is generally because the virus, after emerging, transfers freely as the entire population is susceptible in the beginning. During its successive runs, the number of susceptible people is comparatively lesser as many of them suffer from the disease and gain immunity by then.
However, the same logic cannot be applied to India’s situation during the Covid-19 outbreak. In September 2020, the number of Covid cases dropped drastically. A relatively small number of people were infected till mid-September. The virus, however, didn’t have a reason to slow down as a very large part of the population was still susceptible. Furthermore, the second wave was predicted to be weaker than the initial wave. However, this was proven wrong with the second wave’s overwhelming effects being witnessed during April and May, 2021.
The third wave, it is suggested, might be much stronger than the second. However, there is a possibility that this might not be the case as a large part of the population was already affected during the second wave. The positivity rate of the infection was about four times more than the first wave. Additionally, vaccination is playing an indispensable role in inducing immunity in the population. Thus, the wave’s magnitude will depend on several factors including the alteration of the genetic mutations in the virus.
While the occurrence of the third wave is uncertain, it is very much a possibility. Whether it may occur or not, every individual must act responsibly by following the protocols laid down by the healthcare professionals and the government to limit the spread of the virus. The second wave was and continues to be an undeniably painful experience for most of us. With necessary precautions and preparations being taken for the third wave, one may hope that it will not bring about greater damage in the upcoming months. With lessons learned from the second wave, we can only be hopeful and cautious in a situation such as this.
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