Third wave of COVID-19 may hit India by October; children likely to be at risk: Survey

The third wave of COVID-19 is expected to hit India in the month of October, a survey conducted by Reuters said. 40 healthcare specialists, doctors, scientists, virologists, epidemiologists and professors from around the world participated in the snap survey.Around 70 per cent of the respondents believe that the next possible coronavirus wave would be better controlled due to the availablitiy of hospitals, oxygen supply, vaccines and other medical equipment.Dr Randeep Guleria, director at All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), who was part of the Reuters’ survey predicted that the infections will be less as vaccination drive against the deadly contagious virus is underway in the country.”It will be more controlled, as cases will be much less because more vaccinations would have been rolled out and there would be some degree of natural immunity from the second-wave,” said the AIIMS director.Of the total respondents, 85 per cent said that the next COVID wave will hit India by October.Notably, three participants indicated that the third wave may come in August and 12 in September.Three more respondents said the next wave of infections may come between November and February.In response to whether the third wave would affect those under 18 more, 26 of the 40 respondents said yes.Giving his opinion, Dr Pradeep Banandur, head of epidemiology department at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), said that the the wave may affect the children more as they are yet to get vaccinated.”The reason being they are a completely virgin population in terms of vaccination because currently there is no vaccine available for them,” Dr Banandur said.Some experts warned that the situation may become worse if the health system to treat the children is inadequate.”If children get infected in large numbers and we are not prepared, there is nothing you can do at the last minute,” said Dr Devi Shetty, adding that “It will be a whole different problem as the country has very, very few paediatric intensive care unit beds, and that is going to be a disaster.”However, 14 of teh 40 experts said children were not at risk. 

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