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Covid third wave inevitable, could hit India within 8 weeks: AIIMS chief

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A third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India is imminent and could hit the country in the next six to eight weeks, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria i tha a news channel on Saturday.

“As we begin unlocking, there is again a lack of appropriate behavior for Covid. We do not seem to have learned from what happened between the first and second wave. Again the crowds are building … people are gathering. It will have to “a short time for the number of cases to rise nationally. A third wave is imminent and it could hit the country within the next six to eight weeks … maybe a little longer,” Dr Guleria told NDTV. “It all depends on how we move forward in terms of proper behavior for Covid and crowd prevention,” he added.

Many parts of the country, including cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, previously devastated by the spread of the virus and under severe blockades, have lifted their restrictions on police blockade and detention this month, as Covid cases have dropped to continuously across the country. In the last 24 hours, India registered 60,753 new Covid cases and 1,647 deaths due to the virus. The daily positivity rate is 2.98 percent – for the 12th day in a row it has remained below 5 percent.

Guleria added that vaccination remains the main weapon against the virus and widening the gap between the two doses of Covishield vaccine “may not be a bad approach” to provide more people with protection.

“Vaccination is the main challenge. A new wave can usually last up to three months, but it can also take much less time, depending on various factors. In addition to appropriate behavior for Covid, we must provide strict supervision. Last time we saw a new variant – which came from abroad and took place here – led to a huge increase in the number of cases.We know that the virus will continue to evolve.Agressive surveillance is required at points hottest, “the AIIMS chief added.

On the spread of the Delta variant in the UK, which is now facing a third wave, he said, “The virus is still changing, we have to be careful.”

The highly transmitted variant first identified in India is now accounting for 99 per cent of fresh COVID-19 cases in the UK, the PTI news agency reported.

The number of Delta variant infections has increased by 33,630 in a week to reach a total of 75,953 in the UK, with the highly transmissible variant first identified in India now accounting for 99 per cent of all COVID-19 cases instead, health officials warned on Friday.

Public Health England (PHE), which has followed the VOC variant on a weekly basis, said its data show an increased risk of hospitalization with Delta VOC compared to Alpha VOC first discovered in the region Kent of England.

He also noted his previous findings that two doses of a COVID vaccine provide a “high degree of protection” against hospitalization from the Delta variant.

The gap between the new waves is narrowing and is ‘disturbing’, Dr Guleria said.

“During the first wave (in India), the virus was not spreading so fast … everything changed during the second wave, and the virus became much more contagious. Now the Delta variant that is spreading is much more contagious. The faster the spread is it is likely, “said the AIIMS chief.

In the Delta plus version, the head of AIIMS explained: “We need an aggressive sequence of the genome to see how the virus is behaving. Is the vaccine effective, does the monoclonal antibody treatment work? To do it all, we need to have a large or very good network of laboratories to study the data.I think we can move here in the coming weeks.And this is the new frontier we need to develop if we want to succeed in our fight against Covid . “

On Friday, a survey of Reuters medical experts said the third wave of Covid infections in India is imminent and could hit the country by October this year. The 40 healthcare professionals from around the world who took part in the survey added that the third wave will be better managed than previous outbreaks, given the growing pace of vaccinations in India. However, they added that Covid-19 will remain a major public health concern in India for at least another year.

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