India: Probability of 4th Covid wave low but need to be vigilant, cautions virologist

Scientist says there is no scientific, epidemiological reason to predict a fourth Covid-19 wave in India



AP file
AP file

By ANI

Published: Sat 19 Mar 2022, 8:53 PM

Chances of a fourth Covid-19 wave in India are low, but the public should remain vigilant, an eminent virologist has said.

Dr T Jacob John said the chances of the fourth Covid-19 wave is low, but nobody can predict it will not happen.”

He added: “There is no scientific, epidemiological reason to predict a fourth Covid-19 wave but nobody can predict that it will not happen. I can say the probability is extremely low.”

He further stressed that it is important to be vigilant and cautious. There is a need to keep looking at the viruses and their genetic sequences and see if there are any new variants appearing or if any variants are overtaking Omicron locally in more places, he added.

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Dr John also said that he doesn’t believe in predicting waves based on mathematical modelling.

“I do not understand how fear needs to be inculcated in human beings and for what purposes. So, I don’t believe in predicting a wave based on mathematical modelling. I told you about the problems of mathematical modelling that computers had with type two polio vaccines. Mathematical modelling is good if all the elements that go into the mathematical modelling are good. So, there is no need to be fearful of the wave.”

He said that had he been asked the question in 2020 on whether the virus behaves differently, then he would have replied in the negative. However, he said that now in the year 2022, there is a lot of information about this virus, on how it behaves and how variants are created, and so on. “There is enough information to be confident about predicting the future,” he stated.

“People don’t understand one thing that Omicron was totally unpredictable,” he said.

As China reported a spike in Covid-19 cases he said the context is extremely different when India is considered. “We need not worry about what’s happening there because the contexts are extremely different. China had a zero Covid policy. They aggressively tested, quarantined and kept the curve suppressed for a long time and so now Omicron is unstoppable.”


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