India may not see a third wave of COVID-19 if strong measures are taken, Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan said on Friday. Raghavan said it's possible, but for that to happen decisive steps have to be taken and effectively implemented across the country at the state, district, and city level.
The country's top scientific officer's comments came two days after he warned that COVID-19 third wave was inevitable.
Addressing a presser of the Union Health Ministry, Raghavan noted that "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 guidelines are implemented at the local level, in the states, in districts, and in the cities everywhere."
He added that "insidious asymptomatic transmission" can be stopped if the guidance about precautions, surveillance, containment, treatment, and testing is followed.
"The guidance is about precautions, about surveillance, about containment, about treatment, and about tests. This insidious asymptomatic transmission can be stopped if we follow the guidelines. This sounds difficult, it is difficult and we can and must do it," Raghavan stated.
On May 5, he said, as the virus mutates further, a third wave of COVID infection is inevitable and it is necessary to be prepared for new waves.
He said it was not expected that the second wave would hit the country with such ferocity.
"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," he had said.
Responding to a question on when the second wave, which has already infected lakhs and killed thousands, will ebb, Raghavan said it has already started declining in some places.
The number of cases and the positivity will decline and there will be a lag in hospitalisation and mortality, he added.
"There are other places of great concern all over the country. We must watch out and make sure that we take all steps to reduce and go up to the levels which are difficult to manage," he cautioned.
(With inputs from PTI.)