New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the concerns over it, the possible third wave of COVID-19 may hit India at the end of August, said Dr Samiran Panda, head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). However, Dr Panda added that the third wave will not be as intense as the second one.

"There would be a nationwide third wave but that does not mean that it would be as high or as intense as the second wave," Dr Panda said as quoted by NDTV. Dr Panda further said that a drop in the immunity acquired by people during the first and second waves could be a reason for the possible third wave.

Meanwhile, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Thursday said that the emergence of a more transmissible coronavirus variant capable of escaping the immunity shield and lockdown relaxations can be the likely causes of a possible third wave of COVID-19. He said the third wave can be mitigated by following Covid-appropriate behaviour such as maintaining social distancing, using masks, and taking vaccines.

“If some restrictions are kept and the virus also remains stable then cases will not be much and if we keep more restrictions then cases will further reduce," he added.

Guleria said that even if new variants emerge, the available vaccines can be tweaked. He also said that apart from Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V, several other vaccines are in the pipeline in the country. Guleria said the third wave of COVID-19 is being seen in other countries but hospitalisation has come down, indicating that the vaccines are working.

Listing possible reasons that can precipitate the third wave, Guleria said waning immunity -- which restores previously exposed individuals to a susceptible state -- the emergence of a new more transmissible variant of the virus capable of escaping immunity, and relaxation of current lockdowns can be the likely causes.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan