Third wave of COVID inevitable, need to prepare, warns Centre’s Scientific Adviser

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New Delhi, May 5

The third wave of COVID is inevitable given the amount of virus circulating in India, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, K. Vijay Raghavan, warned on Wednesday.

Addressing the Union Health Ministry press conference, he said: “Third phase is inevitable given the amount of virus circulating. But it is difficult to predict the timeline. We should prepare for the new (third) wave”. He also said that regular monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccines is needed to deal with the new strains.

The Scientific Advisor also pointed out that variants are transmitted the same as the original strain.

“It doesn’t have properties of new kinds of transmission. It infects humans in a manner that makes it more transmissible as it gains entry, makes more copies and goes on, same as original,” he said.

Vijay Raghavan also emphasised that vaccines currently available are effective against existing variants. He said that scientists in India and across the globe are working to anticipate new variants and act against them rapidly by early warning and developing modified tools.

The Union Health Ministry, meanwhile, said that around 2.4 per cent day-on-day growth in COVID cases has been noticed in the country.

Joint Secretary, Health, Luv Aggarwal said: “12 states have more than one lakh active cases, seven states have 50,000 to one lakh active cases and 17 states have less than 50,000 active cases. Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have more 1.5 lakh active cases.” Aggarwal stated that 24 states and UTs have reported more than 15 per cent Covid positivity rate while 10 states have more than 25 per cent positivity rate. Maharashtra has a reported positivity rate of 24 per cent.

Niti Aayog’s Member, Health, Dr V.K. Paul urged physicians to come forward and provide teleconsultations to people and families at home who are infected with Covid. Referring to the new strain, he said: “The response to the changing virus remains the same… we need to follow the covid appropriate behaviour such as mask, distancing, hygiene, no unnecessary meetings and staying at home.” — IANS



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