The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic left the healthcare system of several states crippled in terms of resources and manpower for the people who were infected, leading to a significant rise in the number of deaths and infections, as compared to the first wave.
As the second wave of the pandemic started to slow down in June, people gradually started to return to their normal routines. Several months after the pandemic has subsided in most of the country, offices and marketplaces have reopened once again, taking a step forward to return to the pre-pandemic life.
Though the number of cases in most states is at an all-time low and the vaccination drive is being conducted across the country in full force, the question still remains in the minds of many citizens of India- is there still a possibility of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Experts have weighed in on the possibility of the third wave of the COVID pandemic in India. While speaking at a media conclave, Virologist Dr Ian Lipkin from Columbia University said, “Long Covid is an emerging challenge, where people has mild symptoms but remained crippled with cognitive dysfunction, shortness of breath, fatigue for a long time and even if the virus disappears, they might continue to remain infected.”
The virologist further said, “It’s a complicated picture and we have to think about acute disease and the importance of preventing a future pandemic.” Some experts have also said that though the pandemic has slowed down significantly, the arrival of the third wave depends a lot on the behavior of the people.
While interacting with the media earlier, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky had said that despite the availability of vaccines, human behavior cannot be predicted when it comes to the pandemic.
She was quoted saying, “We have a lot of the science right now. We have vaccines, and what we can’t really predict is human behavior. Human behavior in this pandemic hasn’t served us very well.”
Indian virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang had earlier stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching the endemic stage in India, which is less dangerous and worrisome than the pandemic and epidemic stages of an infection.
He said, “After the second wave, maybe a quarter of the country’s population continues to be susceptible to the virus. So will we be able to achieve within that quarter the same numbers and the same patterns that we saw in the second wave? That I think is unlikely.”
He has further predicted that there can be local “flare-ups” of the infection that will result in a smaller population of the country being infected with COVID-19. Experts are also waiting for the festival season in India to pass to observe the rate of infection in people, which can be useful in predicting the arrival of the COVID-19 third wave.