In what has become a big warning for India, a member of NITI Aayog has said that the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is inevitable and that the country should be prepared to addressing the new version of the outbreak. The warning has come when India had faced incessant ordeals through the horrendous second wave of the pandemic.
NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat said that the third wave of the pandemic may affect the younger population and he further recommended the government to increase vaccinations. He said that India's epidemiologists have given very clear indications that the third wave of the pandemic is inevitable and the nation will likely be witnessing the third wave from September to October.
According to PTI, Saraswat had on Friday said, "I think we have done reasonably well. We have managed the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic very well, as a result, the numbers of COVID-19 cases have come down significantly. We have been able to manage the second wave with the help of our science and technology activities, creating oxygen banks, and making a large number of industries to support oxygen supply."
"Earlier, more than 4 lakh cases were being reported daily in the country, but in the last few days, the number of new cases of infection has come to around 1.3 lakh", Saraswat added. Saraswat said India's management of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic was good and the kind of discipline which had been introduced at that time, gave the country a lot of confidence to control the second wave of the pandemic.
By citing that the studies of epidemiologists didn't show the second wave was going to be strong, Saraswat said that activities like marriages and religious functions that took place during this time had poured fuel on the second wave of the pandemic. Saraswat had noted that in the first wave of COVID-19, the intensity was not vigorous which indicated that the country will be able to manage the second wave with the kind of infrastructure created last year in terms of ventilators, hospital beds, and ICU beds.
He said, "In the second wave, the virus had a different characteristic which resulted in an indirect attack on lungs in a big way, which resulted in a large number of people demanding oxygen at a very early stage of infection. So, this mutant caught us unaware. As a result, we found that we are not in a position to meet the increased demand for oxygen and some of the medicines which were needed at this particular stage."
He further said, "We expect we have to take all preparations (to tackle the third wave) by July-August because the third wave is likely to start from September-October onward." He added that the lockdowns should be relaxed in a gradual manner. "We also have to see the infrastructure which we have also created, continues to remain in position and should be augmented further so that we don't run into the crisis which we ran into during the second wave as far as the oxygen availability in the country is concerned", Saraswat said.