Centre takes u-turn over 'inevitable' coronavirus third wave

Centre’s scientific advisor now says strong containment measures can avert it completely
A health worker takes samples from police personnel in Kullu on Friday. (Photo | PTI)
A health worker takes samples from police personnel in Kullu on Friday. (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Just two days after declaring that a third Covid-19 wave is “inevitable” in India, the Union government’s principal scientific advisor took a U-turn on Friday and said that strong containment measures and effective implementation of guidelines can help the country avoid it completely.

“If we take strong measures, the third wave may not happen in all the places or indeed anywhere at all,” said K VijayRaghvan on Friday. “It depends much on how effectively the guidelines are implemented at the local level, in the states, in districts and in the cities everywhere.”

Speaking at a press briefing on the Covid-19 status in the country, VijayRaghavan said any onset of third wave depends on how effectively the guidelines are implemented across the country.The statement comes even as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India is showing no signs of abatement yet. 

On Thursday alone, over 4.14 lakh infections were recorded, the highest tally in a 24 hour period so far. 
Meanwhile, the collapse of healthcare infrastructure across the country continues with patients in most states struggling to get access to timely and adequate treatment.

The country’s death toll crossed 2.34 lakh and the active Covid-19 caseload stood at a whopping 36,45,164 as on Friday. As the virus mutates further, a third wave of Covid infection is inevitable and it is necessary to be prepared for new waves, VijayRaghavan had cautioned on Wednesday.

“A phase three is inevitable, given the higher levels of circulating virus but it is not clear on what time scale this phase three will occur. We should prepare for new waves,” the scientific advisor  had said.The scientific advisor to the government had also said that it was not expected that the second wave would hit the country with such ferocity. Many experts have said that while multiple waves in a pandemic are expected, the certainty with which VijayRaghvan shared his opinion was not based on any evidence or data.

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