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COVID wave III imminent; we need to prepare, warns top scientist

COVID wave III imminent; we need to prepare, warns top scientist

Principal Scientific Advisior K VijayRaghavan emphasised on upgrading the vaccines to fight against new variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus; He suggested preparing a map of all possible changes due to coronavirus

Even as the second wave of coronavirus infections continue to wreak havoc across the natipn, Principal Scientific Advisior to Centre K VijayRaghvan has warned that a third wave is inevitable. During a press briefing by Health Ministry on Wednesday, the top scientist said that India needs to be prepared for new waves.

"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," VijayRaghvan said.

Explaining how variants work, VijayRaghvan said," Variants are transmitted same as original strain. It doesn't have properties of new kinds of transmission. It infects humans in a manner that makes it more transmissible as it gains entry, makes more copies & goes on, same as original."

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During the briefing, the Principal Scientific Advisior emphasised on upgrading the vaccines to fight against new variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus. "Vaccines are effective against current variants. New variants will arise all over the world and in India too but variants that increase transmission will likely plateau. Immune evasive variants and those which lower or increase disease severity will arise going ahead," he said.

"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. It's an intense research programme, happening in India and abroad," he further added.

VijayRaghvan also suggested laboratories to prepare a map of all possible changes that can happen due to the coronavirus, adding that only sometimes can viruses erode immunity so rapidly.

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India has reported more than 3.82 lakh new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours to Wednesday. Over 3.38 lakh people recovered from the contagion during this period, taking the total number of people discharged to more than 1.69 crore.

India's total active caseload currently stands at over 2.04 crore and the total number of fatalities reported is 2.26 lakh, according to the Health Ministry data. India reported the highest daily deaths at 3,780 on Wednesday.

Over 16.04 crore people were inoculated against the novel coronavirus till May 4 (Tuesday). Out of these, over 13 crore people received the first dose, and over 3.04 lakh people got the second dose of the lifesaving jab.

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