COVID-19 third wave in India: The anticipated threat of the third COVID-19 wave, according to a committee set up by the Union Home Ministry, may reach its peak around October and children may be affected as well.
The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), serving under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has warned of an anticipated third wave of the novel coronavirus. It claimed that it could peak in the coming months in its recent report that has been submitted to the Prime Minister's Office, news agency ANI reported. In its report, the committee has also spoken about the critical need of paediatric facilities, besides doctors, staff, equipment like ventilators, ambulances, etc. It further stated that, currently, the available infrastructure is “no nowhere close” to what may be required in case a large number of children catch the disease.
The Reuters' opinion survey of 40 experts indicated that the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely hit India between July 15 and October 13, 2021. On whether the Delta-Plus variant will be the driving factor of the third wave, NIDM said, "there is not enough evidence as of now to designate the Delta Plus variant as more dangerous than Delta" further adding that "this variant has been detected in 70 cases across 16 states from the 58,240 samples that have been sequenced so far in India."
It stated that the Delta variant can arrive in India due to the rise in coronavirus cases since most of the states are ready to reopen their schools. During the second wave, cases rose to a staggering 4 lakhs at the end of April. It ravaged the country and we came face to face with a massive shortage of hospital beds and medical oxygen.
Emphasising the effect of the potential COVID-19 third wave that could affect children, the report said the Indian Academy of Paediatrics found that there is no overwhelming biological evidence that the current and the new Delta variant will affect the kids more than grown-ups. The experts, however, have claimed that thousands of lives could be saved if the authorities prioritise a vaccination drive against the virus for children with comorbidities and those with special needs. They claimed India should plan properly and resolve the issue of shortage of oxygen supply and beds.
Last week, the country’s drug regulators have approved another vacine Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D vaccine for emergency use. It is the first vaccine to be approved for children above 12 years of age.
Feature Image Credit: Scripps.org