COVID-19 third wave likely to hit India by the end of August, says ICMR - Details inside

Delta and Delta Plus variants, found now in more than 111 nations, initially surfaced in India but will not affect the COVID-19 third wave in any way

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Indians are dreading the COVID-19 third wave and it is just around the corner and the question is how severe is it going to be and if we are prepared to handle it?

The good news is, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the third wave, though it will not be as intense as the second wave, and is most likely to hit the country by the end of August. 

Speaking to NDTV, Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at the ICMR, said reducing the severity of the surge is directly linked to preventing super spreader events. "There would be a nationwide third wave but that does not mean that it would be as high or as intense as the second wave," Dr Panda said.

He also said that there are fours things that could lead to the third wave. The first was, he said where the immunity acquired in the first and second waves drop. Secondly, there could be a variant that can bypass the immunity acquired from previous COVID-19 infections. Third, the new variant may not be able to bypass immunity but can circulate fast in the population. And fourth, if the restrictions are lifted prematurely by states, it could lead to a fresh surge.

When asked if the variant involved could be Delta Plus, he said both Delta and Delta Plus have swept the country, "I'm not expecting any more public health havoc from the Delta variant".

The third wave is inevitable in certain parts of the country according to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), due to the laxity by both the government and the citizens who are not following the COVID-19 protocols. 

Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the world is in the early stages of the third wave of COVID-19, driven by the Delta variant of the virus. “We expect it to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide if it isn’t already,” the WHO chief said.

On July 13, NITI Aayog (health) member Dr VK Paul also said that the signs of the third wave of COVID-19 infections are already being seen in parts of the world as nearly 3.9 lakh new confirmed cases are being reported from across the globe each day.

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