What The Experts Say On How A Third Wave Can Be Delayed And Made Weaker

·3-min read

Taking the vaccination and following the Covid-19 appropriate behaviour along with mask-wearing and social distancing is a must.

India set a new milestone this week by administering more than 8.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in a single day—which is an impressive achievement even from the global standpoint. But according to some experts, this unprecedented pace may not be fast enough for a country that has just emerged from a devastating second wave of coronavirus pandemic to avert a third.

India has managed to fully vaccinate around 4 per cent of the population while 20 per cent has received one dose. At this rate, although, some scientists believe a third wave could arrive within months.

According to a Bloomberg report, Gautam Menon, a professor of physics and biology at Ashoka University said: "I don't think the recent spurt can be maintained, given what we know of the supply situation. The single-day spike seems to have been the result of a concerted effort by some states, who may have stockpiled doses for this purpose. We would need to get to about 10 million (1 crore) doses per day to ensure that a future wave is less potent".

However, According to N.K. Arora, the chair of India's National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, up to 22 crore vaccine doses would be accessible starting next month. He noted that India plans to vaccinate 10 million (1 crore) people each day.

According to Bloomberg, Anubhuti Sahay and Saurav Anand, South Asia economists at Standard Chartered Plc, wrote in a report that India will be able to vaccinate 45 per cent of its adult population by year's end and 60 per cent by the end of March 2022 if a daily dose rate of roughly 3.2 million is maintained.

Dr Rahul Saxena, who is currently working with the Delhi government while being involved in its vaccination drive in the Southwest District, told Swarajya: "Although vaccination is the best, and the most potent weapon to neutralise the pandemic, unfortunately, the rate at which we need to vaccinate the population, to cover the world's second-largest population too is a humungous task".

He warned that the lack of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour post-lockdown may accentuate the third wave, and "we may see an increase sooner than anticipated". Dr Saxena advised that Covid-19 appropriate behaviour must be followed along with mask-wearing and maintaining social distance. He said that people need to get the jab as soon as they get a chance. According to the healthcare professional, "self-awareness for detecting symptoms early, getting tested early, isolating and initiating treatment as soon as possible" would help control the spread of the virus.

"The epidemiological triad of agent, host and environmental factors to be used to spread awareness and create responsibility within the public to maintain Covid-19 appropriate behaviour," he said while adding that there other options such as encouraging people to get the shots by providing them "incentives like discounts or free data" could also make a difference.

However, as the daily Covid-19 cases in India has reduced, states are reopening the economy gradually. Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, a public policy and health systems expert, said that "if we rush into reopening and people don't follow Covid safety protocols, we only help the virus spread faster". He suggests that safety measures be applied on a "localised level," with penalties imposed on marketplaces and businesses that do not follow the guidelines.

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