A third wave of COVID-19 is inevitable and we need to be prepared, Dr K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India said on Wednesday, 5 May.
“A phase three is inevitable, given the higher levels of circulating virus. But it is not clear on what time scale this phase three will occur. We should prepare for new waves,” Dr Raghavan said at a government briefing on Wednesday, reported ANI.
Vaccines are effective against current variants, he said, adding that new variants will arise all over the world and in India. However, he said that variants that increase transmission are likely to plateau.
“Immune-evasive variants and those which lower or increase disease severity will arise going ahead,” he warned.
Scientists of India and all over world are working to anticipate these kinds of variants and act against them rapidly by early warning and developing modified tools, he added.
The Union Health Ministry, meanwhile, said that around 2.4 percent day-on-day growth in COVID cases had been noticed in the country.
Joint Secretary, Health, Luv Aggarwal, said, "Twelve states have more than one lakh active cases, seven states have 50,000 to one lakh active cases and 17 states have fewer than 50,000 active cases. Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have more 1.5 lakh active cases."
Aggarwal stated that 24 states and UTs have reported more than 15 percent COVID positivity rate while 10 states have more than 25 percent positivity rate. Maharashtra has a reported positivity rate of 24 percent.
India is in the middle of a severe second wave of COVID, and is facing shortages of oxygen, medicines and medical infrastructure.
The country on Wednesday reported 3,82,315 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 2,06,65,148. The death toll increased by 3,780 to 2,26,188.
According to the Union Health Ministry data, there are currently 34,87,229 active cases across the country, while 1,69,51,731 patients have been discharged so far, with 3,38,439 discharges reported in the last 24 hours.
(With inputs from ANI.)