Amid the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, health experts have warned that the worst is not over, and there might also be a third wave in India. There is growing evidence to suggest that new variants of the virus are a contributing factor behind the country's disastrous second wave.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, May 5, K Vijay Raghavan, the principal scientific advisor to the government, said that the high levels of the virus circulating in India meant that a third phase is inevitable, reported The Guardian reported. On Thursday, May 6, the Supreme Court also asked the Centre to start preparing for the third wave.
Children More Vulnerable?
The third wave will hit children in a big way, according to virologist Dr V Ravi. He has suggested that both the Central and state governments must chalk out strategies to handle the crisis between October and November.
"The government should take some important policy decisions on what is their approach towards starting school the next academic year, considering that the next wave will affect children. Kids will also be more vulnerable because they are not vaccinated. Are we going to test them regularly for early detection like how the western countries do?" The Economic Times quoted Ravi as saying.
How Can We Prepare?
Taking note of the oxygen crisis gripping the country presently, the Supreme Court on Thursday also asked the Centre to revamp its formula of oxygen distribution across the country, reported LiveMint. The apex court suggested that the Centre adopt a pan-India approach to prepare for the third wave and to create a buffer stock to prevent panic among people.
According to Dr Giridhar Babu, an epidemiologist and a member and advisor to the National Covid-19 Task Force in Karnataka, the government needs to finalise a plan for managing multiple waves of covid-19. "Even in states where technical experts advised an imminent second wave, nothing changed much due to other competing priorities. We need an action plan for enhancing vaccination coverage through strong microplanning, intensive mobilisation and effective communication strategies," India Today quoted Dr Babu as saying.
Also Read: 'Third COVID Wave Inevitable, Can't Predict Timing': Top Govt Adviser