In the past few weeks, many studies have claimed that the third wave of the covid-19 pandemic is inevitable and will possibly be caused by the Delta plus variant of the novel coronavirus. To add to that, India reported over 20 cases of Delta plus variant on June 21, with 8 of them from Maharashtra.
India has barely started to stand again after being tumbled over by the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic, trying to recover and restore the overwhelmed health care system and console the thousands of people who have lost their family members. But to the frustration and disdain of all, the reports of the third wave are flying around with the AIIMS chief and multiple studies confirming its arrival soon.
The chief of AIIMS, Dr. Randeep Guleria, said that the third wave is inevitable and could hit us within the next six to eight weeks… maybe a little longer. How early or late it will hit us depends on how we go ahead in Covid-appropriate behaviour and preventing large crowds.
During the first wave of covid in India, the virus was not spreading that rapidly, and all that changed in the second wave, and the virus became a lot more infectious. The Delta variant, which triggered the second wave and is still spreading, is much more contagious. He added that the shortening of the time gap between new waves of the covid-19 pandemic is worrisome.
The state of Maharashtra has created a task force to tackle the current cases and the possible future cases of the covid-19 pandemic. This task force has warned the state that the third wave can hit Maharashtra much earlier than the rest of India and has given a possible timeline of 2 to 4 weeks before the emergence of the new wave.
The task force also predicted that the third wave would hit the lower middle class the worst in this wave since they escaped the virus in the previous two waves or have worn-out antibodies. It is also expected that 10% of the cases in the third wave could come from children or young adults. The task force made these predictions in a meeting presided by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray. The data also pointed to the fact that the total number of cases in the third wave could be double those in the second wave, and the active cases would reach up to eight lakhs.
The number of covid positive cases infected with Delta plus variant has reached 20 in the country, with at least eight reported in Maharashtra. The rest have been reported from Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, among other states. The Delta plus variant or AY.1 variant is a mutation of the highly infectious delta variant. Experts said that even though the delta variant is the dominant variant, they keep a close eye on this new variant, and aspects of its transmissibility and severity are being studied.
While some of the states in northeastern India are still struggling with the second wave, some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Delhi have already started preparations for the third wave of covid. While the rest of the nation’s states have not announced anything, they are expected to follow soon.