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India Covid crisis: Third wave unlikely to be as severe as second, study finds

Web Report/New Delhi
Filed on June 26, 2021

The growing pace of vaccination in India could buffer the emergence of the third wave, point out the scientists.


A potential third wave of Covid-19 is unlikely to be as severe as the second one, according to a report by scientists of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Imperial College, London.

The growing pace of vaccination in India could buffer the emergence of the third wave, point out the scientists. Less than a fifth of Indians have received the first dose of the vaccine so far and just four per cent are fully vaccinated. The government plans to get all adults vaccinated by the end of the year.

According to the ICMR scientists if 40 per cent of the population is covered with two doses of the vaccine in three months following the end of the second wave, it could reduce symptomatic incidence by around 55 per cent.

“For a virus to cause a major third wave in the face of this pre-existing immunity, extreme scenarios for the abrogation of that immunity are required, or for that matter, for the transmission fitness of any novel virus,” says the pre-print report in the in-house Indian Journal of Medical Research.

The authors of the report include Balram Bhargava, director-general, ICMR, and Samiran Panda, head, Infectious Disease Unit, ICMR. Panda, however, warned in an interview to a newspaper that complacency in maintaining physical distancing or usage of masks could be dangerous.

“Wearing masks consistently and correctly as well vaccination are critical to ensure that a third wave isn’t severe, even though the evidence, as we’ve calculated, shows that it is quite unlikely,” he pointed out.





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