COVID-19 cases across the country are currently on a steady decline and people can be seen roaming streets without their masks once again. The wedding season in India is upon us and crowds of people in functions and marketplaces can be seen flouting the COVID-19 norms.
It seems like the worst is over when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the precautionary measures are reducing each day, the concerns of the third wave of the pandemic hitting the country are rising among the masses.
Addressing the concerns of the impending third wave, experts have stated that during the winter season in India, it is expected that the COVID-19 cases rise again marginally, but the severity and the impact of the virus on the country is expected to be milder than before.
Gautam Menon, professor of the Department of Physics and Biology, Ashoka University, while talking to PTI, said, “What it suggests is that the impact of the second wave, where a substantial fraction of Indians were infected, continues to manifest itself.” He also said that the vaccination drive also reduced the risk of the virus spreading severely in the country.
Director of the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Anurag Agarwal reiterated a similar observation, stating that the frequency of COVID-19 cases can be lower this time around, as most of the population has already been infected with the virus by now. He said, “Serosurveys have shown that the majority of the population is likely to have been infected.”
Even though most experts believe that India is most likely out of danger when it comes to the third wave, some also believe that small and slow increases in COVID-19 cases can be expected in some of the states.
Vineeta Bal, an immunologist from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, told PTI, “Although the cases started rising in the northeast much later than the rest of the country, this shows that there might be small outbreaks or slow increase in cases in pockets or areas where immunization has been poor and rate of infections over the past year or so was low.”
Experts also that the rise in COVID-19 cases in the US and Europe is an issue of concern, as the surge of cases in India often follows the trends of these two regions. India has heard a long string of predictions of when the third wave will hit the country, but the cases still remain at an all-time low.
All the authorities have asked residents to follow strict COVID-19 norms despite the decrease of cases across the country, to prevent any possibility of the third wave hitting in India.