Bhubaneswar, Jun 3 (PTI) The Odisha government has started preparations to combat the possible third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which, experts said, may affect people of different age groups along with children as anticipated, officials said.
The effects of the third wave will depend on three aspects vaccination, mutation of the virus and adherence to COVID protocols, said Dr Ajay Parida, the director of the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS).
Bhubaneswar-based ILS is an autonomous institute under the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
'We are not sure when the third wave will come and what will be its impact. But, we have taken all pre-emptive measures to deal with the situation,' said the head of the state's Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET), Prof C B K Mohanty.
The COVID-19 third wave, if breaks out in the country, will be as deadly as the second wave and it may hit not only children but others too, Parida said adding that the Odisha government has started preparations to face it.
An impression has been created among people that the possible third wave will affect children more as there is no plan till now to get them vaccinated.
'Nobody should get into the impression that the third wave will only affect children and not others. There should be no complacency in this regard,' said Parida who has been guiding researches on virus variants appearing in Odisha.
During the second wave, the B1.617.2 strain of the virus has been found in India and this variant affected about 60 per cent of patients, he told reporters.
He said that the second wave was at its peak in Odisha between May 15 and 25.
In districts like Khurda, Cuttack and Dhenkanal, the infection cases are high but the positivity rate is expected to decline in the next 10 to 15 days, he said.
To a question on the rise in number of Covid-19 deaths in Odisha, Parida said it is because of delay in beginning the treatment and comorbidities.
'In many cases, persons infected with the virus hide it from others and do not consult doctors in the early stage for which severity takes place,' he said.
On the Odisha government's unsuccessful attempt to procure COVID-19 vaccines through a global tender, Mohanty said that the decision was not wrong or illogical.
'We failed in our mission to invite the overseas companies due to restrictions on the import of COVID vaccines,' he said.
Meanwhile, the inoculation of the people in the age group of 18-45 years may be affected in Odisha if vaccine is not available by June 13.
After Thursday, the state is left with only 2,830 doses of Covaxin and 4,290 doses of Covishield for the 18-44 year age group, officials said.
Presently, the state government made arrangements to inoculate people in that age bracket in five municipal corporations and six district headquarters by procuring vaccines from two Indian manufacturers from its own resources.
While as many as 7,57,881 people (44 per cent) in the age group of 18 to 45 years have already taken the first dose of vaccine, only 720 beneficiaries have received the second dose. The beneficiaries who had taken the jab on May 3 should get the next dose on June 13.
'Though there is no sufficient stock right now, we hope it will be available by June 13,' Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Commissioner S K Singh told reporters.
Sources said that the state is expected to receive 26,000 doses of Covaxin on June 7 and another consignment of 2,27,00 does of Covishield on June 9. PTI AAM NN NN