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COVID-19 third wave: States must decide strategy, says ICMR's Dr Samiran Panda

The increasing number of COVID-19 infections in some states presently is indicating the third wave, said Dr Samiran Panda.

August 31, 2021 / 08:47 AM IST
On reopening of schools,Dr Samiran Panda said that states which were severely affected during the second wave can reopen schools, while others can do so gradually and with caution. (Image Source: Reuters/Jose Cabezas)

On reopening of schools,Dr Samiran Panda said that states which were severely affected during the second wave can reopen schools, while others can do so gradually and with caution. (Image Source: Reuters/Jose Cabezas)


The uptick of new COVID-19 infections in states, which did not face an intense resurgence of cases during the second wave, depicts the onset of the third wave, said the Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

"Several states began imposing COVID-19 restrictions and increased vaccinations, learning from Delhi and Maharashtra. Due to this, the second wave in several states was not as intense, leaving scope for a third wave. Therefore, the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in some states presently is indicating the third wave," Dr Samiran Panda told ANI.

Read | EU takes US off safe travel list; backs travel restrictions

He further said that when talking about COVID-19, it is imperative to talk of India as a whole instead of a state-specific view because all the states are not homogenous.

Panda said that all states should examine the number of COVID-19 cases and its intensity in the first and second waves to decide about their strategy/pandemic preparedness for the possibility of the third wave.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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Also read: WHO sounds alarm over rising Covid deaths in Europe

On reopening of schools, Panda said that states which were severely affected during the second wave can reopen schools, while others can do so gradually and with caution.

"The fourth national serosurvey shows that over 50 percent of children are infected, a little less than adults. So, we need not panic unnecessarily," he said, adding that it is important to prepare well for the reopening of schools.

Read: Covid third wave could peak between Oct-Nov; intensity expected to be 1/4 of second wave
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first published: Aug 31, 2021 08:47 am
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