There has been enough speculation, anticipation and anxiety about the third wave by now. With experts warning about its impending nature and some ready to shrug off the possibility of its arrival.
The latest statement by US Center for Infectious Disease Research puts things into a much clearer perspective. "As new variants are emerging every now and then, it can be concluded that the battle to get the globe inoculated won't be over until the coronavirus has touched all of us," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research.
So when will the third wave arrive?
Osterholm further added that cases under the third wave will surge worldwide in the next six months before dropping again. He pointed towards a rising bar graph of Covid cases during the fall and winter months. People believe what they want to believe and pandemic remains the perfect display of Ostrich effect.
With too much of faith placed in very low percentage of vaccination and herd immunity. New variants, billions of unvaccinated people and all-pervading poor attitude towards Covid-protocols are the reason why chances of eliminating the virus are vague at the moment.
Why India needs to pay special heed?
It was only on February 9 that the lowest total of 9,110 new infections was reported in India. The figure that resulted in fatal complacency on all quarters in the country. Fast forward to only over two months later and India makes the unenviable record of being the first country in the world to register over 4 lakh infections in a single day on April 30.
As many as 3,464 deaths were reported on the same day. Epidemiologists from around the world have warned enough about the countries with low percentage of vaccinated populace. Elections, large religious gatherings, poor attitude towards caution and new variants were the prime reason for the deadly wave.
Considering, a long festive season ahead, and no better attitude toward Covid safety measures and the same potential of new and deadly variants, things are not past us.
Third wave in India -- 5 lakh cases per day?
Health Ministry officials in India have already issued warnings and advisories to celebrate festivals virtually as much as possible. "Please watch your October, November and December," is the much-need campaign that citizens need to abide by.
Before anyone can later point out, that they weren't warned specifically enough, NITI Aayog member (Health) V.K Paul also said, "We cannot take the current stable situation for granted. We have to be mindful of the fact that the pandemic is going on and can take an untoward turn if we are not careful."
Paul had also informed during a press conference that the preparation will be of the level of 4.5 to 5 lakh cases per day surge. The statement said currently, 4.86 oxygen supported beds and 1.35 lakh ICU beds are available.
The current state of affairs
With 22,431 people testing positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, India's total tally of Covid cases stood at 3,38,94,312 as per the data made available by Union Health Ministry on Thursday. With 318 fresh fatalities reported during the same day, India's total death toll climbed to 4,49,856.