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‘COVID-19 third wave likely in October, Andhra Pradesh better prepared this time’

As per the predictions of epidemiologists, the third wave may start in the first or second week of October.

Published: 24th August 2021 07:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2021 09:34 AM   |  A+A-

vaccine

For representational purposes

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: If the trend of SARS-CoV-2 cases in the first two waves are to be considered, then the third spell in India is also possible, according to Andhra Medical College principal and Covid special officer PV Sudhakar.

Speaking to TNIE, Dr Sudhakar said in the first two waves, cases were reported in India two months after they were reported in the US. As per the predictions of epidemiologists, the third wave may start in the first or second week of October.

“Whenever there is a decrease in cases, human behaviour regarding the situation changes. The complacency will lead to more infections,” he observed.

“Compared to the first two waves, the State is better prepared now as there are 6,000 oxygen beds and other facilities. While 3Ts — testing, tracing and treatment — was the approach earlier, the mantra now is 4Ts, with the addition of teeka, to keep the virus at bay.”

On vaccine booster shots, distribution of which will begin in the US next month, Dr Sudhakar said the requirement of the third dose in India is yet to be studied.

“Vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech will have to conduct surveys among fully vaccinated people to ascertain the presence and effect of antibodies, and whether there are any reinfection cases. Based on the data on efficacy of the vaccines, they will decide on the booster dose.” 

Since there are speculations that children may be the most-impacted in the third wave due to the mutation of the virus, the government has earmarked sufficient numbers of beds for paediatric cases, he said adding exclusive paediatric wards and ICU beds have also been earmarked. 

He, however, said not many are turning up for vacant paediatrician posts despite multiple requests. So it was decided that the government will hire at least 100 private paediatric practitioners to meet the requirement. 

He observed that over 90 per cent of people in the 45-plus age group have been vaccinated, and 27 lakh people were given both the doses. 



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