Third COVID-19 wave "imminent," says IMA, warns against laxity
A third wave of coronavirus infections in India is unavoidable and around the corner, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) warned today in a press release. Reminding that India had just recently walked out of the disastrous second wave of the pandemic, the medical body appealed to public and state governments not to let the guard down against the fatal disease. Here are more details.
"With the global evidence available and the history of any pandemics, the third wave is inevitable and imminent," the IMA said in the letter. "However, it is painful to note in this crucial time...in many parts of the country both the government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following COVID protocols (sic)," it added.
The IMA said, "Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervor are all needed but can wait for a few more months." "Opening up these rituals and enabling people without vaccination to go scot-free in these mass gatherings are potential super spreaders for the COVID third wave." In recent weeks, huge crowds of tourists have gathered at hill stations like Manali and Shimla.
The IMA further noted that a wider vaccination program and following COVID-19 protocols can help mitigate the impact of the third wave. "IMA appeals to all state governments to translate the vision of Honorable Prime Minister Ji and control any mass gatherings in their state," the letter, signed by IMA National President Dr. JA Jayalal and others, read.
IMA HQs. Press Release 12.07.2021 pic.twitter.com/ZhmbpezPUD— Indian Medical Association (@IMAIndiaOrg) July 12, 2021
Separately, the IMA has urged Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami not to allow the Kanwar Yatra to take place. Dhami has also indicated that the pilgrimage may be canceled. "God would not like if anyone loses their life," he recently said.
India had faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak earlier this year. Daily cases in the country had peaked at 4,14,000 in early May. The situation has since improved. In the past 24 hours, the country reported over 37,000 fresh cases and 724 deaths. However, several states, such as Kerala and Maharashtra, continue to report a high number of daily infections.
India has administered more than 38 crore coronavirus vaccine doses. However, vaccinations have dropped significantly since hitting a record of 86 lakh on June 21. In the past 24 hours, only 12 lakh vaccine doses were administered across the country. Even though over 22% of Indians have received at least one vaccine shot, just 5.5% have been fully inoculated as yet.
Many medical and science experts have estimated that a third wave of COVID-19 could hit India by October. In fact, a recent report by SBI Research stated that cases may start rising by the second fortnight of August. Daily cases at the peak of the third wave could be around 1.7 times as compared to the second wave, according to that report.