Covid-19: Delta plus variant: Can India prevent third wave

Roman AhmedWeb Editor

25th Jun, 2021. 11:56 pm
Outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad

India has begun to ease the lockdown amid the worse Covid -19 second wave in April and May, which caused catastrophe in the country.

Experts have now warned that a third wave could strike in few months and it could be worse than the second wave.

The state government has been questioned by the Courts regarding the preparation for the Covid-19 third wave.

Some health experts have warned that a third wave could hit within 12-16 weeks.

Indians are worried about the new variants, including the much-talked-about Delta plus, which could weaken existing vaccines.

Delta plus is related to the Delta, a prevailing variant of concern first recognized in India last year that was accountable for the deadly second wave.

Covid-19 safety protocols

The daily cases in India have dropped to just over 50,000 in recent days, down from the peaks of 400,000 in May.

The drop in numbers has mainly been credited to strict lockdowns by states.

Crowding in public places, election rallies, and religious festivals were responsible for the second wave.

Poor governance, worse policy and decisions and most importantly ignoring the early warnings were some of the other reasons.

If the same errors are reiterated, experts say, that could accelerate the third wave.

Can new variants pose a threat?

The Delta variant largely drove the second wave.

Health Experts believe that more such variants could appear in the future if the virus is allowed to run through the still vulnerable population.

Whereas the Indian government has proclaimed that a new variant, named Delta plus, is a “variant of concern”.

But there is not enough data at the moment to say that it could cause the third wave.

However, experts have predicted the scenario “could change within weeks”.

Previously even crematoriums ran out of space in some cities as cases prickle in April and May.

Are vaccine coverage and past infections enough?

The conclusion of the third wave also depends on the level of immunity India’s population has – both from previous infections and from inoculations.

The country averaged 3.25 million doses every day between 9 and 22 June.

But it needs to reach 8.5-9 million doses daily to meet its target of inoculating the entitled populace by the end of 2021.

Currently, just over 4% of Indians are fully immunized and about 18% have received one dose so far.

Experts say the pace of India’s vaccination drive needs to pick up

But it’s hard to inaugurate the number of Indians who were infected and may have developed natural antibodies to fight the virus.

Many in cities, towns, and villages wriggled to get tested and have no way of knowing if they had the infection.

On the contrary, the health experts universally agree that people cannot take Covid lightly as India still has a considerable vulnerable population and the threat of possibly lethal alternatives still appears.

 

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