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In a U-Turn, Govt Expert Says Third COVID Wave ‘May Not Happen’

“If we take strong measures, a third wave may not happen,” said Dr K Vijay Raghavan, advisor to Centre.

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Government expert says India may not see a third wave if it follows strict COVID protocols.
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In a complete u-turn from his previous stance, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Dr K Vijay Raghavan said on Friday, 7 May, that India may not have a third wave if it follows strict COVID protocols.

As per ANI, Dr K Vijay Raghavan said:

“If we take strong measures, the third wave may not happen in all the places or indeed anywhere at all. It depends much on how effectively the guidance is implemented at the local level, in the states, in districts and in the cities everywhere.”

India is in the middle of a severe second wave of COVID, and is facing shortages of oxygen, medicines and medical infrastructure. India on Friday recorded 4,14,188 new COVID cases, taking the tally to 2,14,91,598. The death toll is 2,34,083, with an increase of 3,915 deaths.

When Virus Runs Out Of Opportunities...

"It may be useful to talk about the location, timing and intensity of infections instead of waves and their number, although the latter is in common usage. If we take strong measures, the third wave may not happen at all places or indeed anywhere at all. It depends on how effectively the guidance is implemented at the local level, in the states, in districts,” said Raghavan, as per Hindustan Times.

The report added that asymptomatic transmission of the virus can be contained, with guidance, testing and treatment, noting how, “when the virus runs out of opportunities, infections fall.”

If people are vaccinated and follow social distance protocols, the transmission of the virus fails because it runs out of opportunities. This however, does not mean it has been eliminated. The virus will breed again if people become complacent, and this is in the hands of the people, as per Raghavan.

Just two days ago, on Wednesday, Raghavan had said that a third wave of COVID-19 is inevitable and we need to be prepared.

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In a briefing, Raghavan said on Wednesday, as per ANI:

“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.”

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.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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