Thursday, July 22, 2021

As crowds swell, AIIMS chief warns of early 3rd Covid wave

A third wave of Covid-19 is inevitable and could hit the country earlier than expected, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria warned on Saturday. Dr Guleria said usually it takes four to five months for a subsequent wave to peak.


“But given the way people are crowding in the markets and malls without following any Covid-appropriate behaviour, I feel a third wave may hit earlier, possibly in 12 to 16 weeks,” he said. Earlier, while speaking to a TV channel, he had said that it could come as early as six to eight weeks.

He explained that the Delta variant of Covid-19, which is highly transmissible and is supposed to be responsible for the devastating second wave, continues to pose a high risk to a large section of the population that is not vaccinated and hasn’t been exposed to the virus yet.

“There are also reports of Covid-19 being caused by a new variant of Delta Covid-19 virus, referred to as Delta plus variant, from some parts of the country. Therefore, if we don’t follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, cases may start increasing once again leading to a third wave,” he said.

Delta makes up 99% of new cases in UK

Several countries, including the US and the UK, are witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases caused by the Delta variant. The UK, in fact, recently decided to postpone lifting of lockdown restrictions fearing another wave of cases due to the new variant.

The highly transmissible variant, first identified in India, now makes up 99% of fresh cases in the UK, according to PTI.

Public Health England (PHE), which has been tracking variants of concern (VOC) on a weekly basis, said its data shows an increased risk of hospitalisation with Delta VOC compared to Alpha, the VOC first detected in the Kent region of England.

It also pointed to its previous findings that two doses of a Covid vaccine give a “high degree of protection” against hospitalisation from the Delta variant. India reported its first case of Covid-19 in January last year.

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