COVID third wave to hit India in October: Reuters poll of experts News of coronavirus pandemic

A third wave of coronavirus infections is likely to hit India in October, and although it will be better controlled by the latest outbreak, the pandemic will remain a threat to public health for at least another year, according to the poll. Reuters news agency medical experts.

The snap survey from June 3 to 17 of 40 health specialists, doctors, scientists, virologists, epidemiologists and professors from around the world showed a significant increase in vaccines perhaps providing some coverage for a new outbreak.

Of those predicting a forecast, at least 85 percent of respondents, or 21 out of 24, say the next wave will be hit by October, including three that predict it by August and September 12. The remaining three were reported between November and February.

But more than 70 percent of experts, or 24 out of 34, say any new outbreak would be better controlled compared to the current one, which has been much more devastating – with a shortage of vaccines, medicines, oxygen and hospital beds. – than the first smallest wave of infections last year.

“It will be more controlled, since the cases will be much less because more vaccinations would be detected and there would be a certain degree of natural immunity from the second wave,” said Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

To date, India has vaccinated only about five per cent of its estimated 950 million eligible populations, leaving several million vulnerable to infections and deaths.

While a majority of health experts have predicted that vaccination testing will pick up significantly this year, they have warned against early removal of the restrictions, as some states have done.

When asked if children and those under the age of 18 will be most at risk in a potential third wave, nearly two-thirds of experts, or 26 out of 40, said yes.

“The reason is that they are a completely virgin population in terms of vaccination because there is currently no vaccine available for them,” said Dr. Pradeep Banandur, head of the epidemiology department at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience ( NIMHANS).

Experts warn that the situation could become serious.

“If children are infected in large numbers and we are not prepared, there is nothing you can do at the last minute,” said Dr Devi Shetty, Narayana Health cardiologist and adviser to the Karnataka state government. on pandemic response planning.

“It will be a different problem since the country has very, very few beds of pediatric intensive care units, and this will be a disaster.”

But 14 experts said the children were not in danger.

Earlier this week, a senior health ministry official said the children were vulnerable and susceptible to infections, but that the analysis showed a less severe health impact.

While 25 out of 38 respondents say that future variants of coronavirus will not make existing vaccines effective, in response to a separate question, 30 out of 41 experts said the coronavirus will remain a public health threat in India for at least a year.

“COVID-19 is a solvable problem, since it was obviously easy to get a solvable vaccine. In two years, India will develop the band’s immunity from vaccination and exposure to the disease, ”said Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland and scientific advisor. international, Global Virus Network.

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