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COVID-19 third wave likely to hit India by August-end; 1 lakh cases daily, says top ICMR scientist

COVID-19 third wave likely to hit India by August-end; 1 lakh cases daily, says top ICMR scientist

ICMR head of the division of epidemiology and communicable diseases Professor Samiran Panda said that the situation is unlikely to get as severe as the second wave

"Looking at the present situation, one can assume that there will be a third wave," He India Today TV "Looking at the present situation, one can assume that there will be a third wave," He India Today TV

India is likely to see a third COVID-19 wave and may report around 1 lakh cases daily by the end of August. The situation could get worse if the virus mutates further, ICMR head of the division of epidemiology and communicable diseases Professor Samiran Panda said.

He added that the situation is unlikely to get as severe as the second wave. Professor Panda added that in case the virus does not mutate, the situation will be similar to the first wave.

"Looking at the present situation, one can assume that there will be a third wave," He India Today TV.

Backing his assessment, Professor Panda said the mathematical modelling done by the ICMR and the Imperial College London showed that low vaccination rates and easing curbs will cause a possible spurt in COVID-19 cases, however, this may not be as acute as the second wave.

Also read: "Test, track, treat, tika": PM advice to states with rising COVID-19 cases

He further noted that avoiding huge gatherings and wearing face masks will help in containing the spread of coronavirus.

Panda accepted that the current vaccination rate in India is low and the government needs to have a smart vaccination plan. He noted that the decision to ease restrictions should be taken on the basis of the test positivity ratio.

Talking about tourists flocking to popular destinations like Manali and Shimla, Panda said this would lead to a rise in population density and that such travel should be avoided at all costs.

He pointed towards another study conducted by the ICMR to evaluate breakthrough infections, 86 per cent of which were due to the Delta variant. Panda mentioned that getting vaccinated helps in reducing the lethal nature of the infection and will make the third wave less serious.

Edited by Mehak Agarwal

Also read: India yet to achieve herd immunity, next 125 days very critical: NITI Aayog's VK Paul