PUNE: The third wave of Covid-19 was unlikely to be as severe as the second. India was now in the endemic stage of the disease, eminent virologists said.
Dr Gagandeep Kang, a member of the Covid-19 working group told she could not really see a large third wave in the next couple of months with the existing variants. But, she said, there could be small waves certain geographies. “Delhi, in all probability, had four waves. A wave is an increase in cases followed by a decrease in a relatively short period in a defined geography. We are unlikely to see a sharp spike in cases in the third wave. As in the case of the second because of lower number of susceptible people and no new variants,” she said.
The present scenario
Kang said she was not saying there would not be a third wave .Despite existing variants, but it would be a smaller one in smaller geographies.
She said earlier, there were a lot of infections. A large number of people fell sick because everyone was susceptible to the third wave . “Now, with fewer susceptible people, there would be an increase in infection without an increase in people getting sick. This is a decoupling between the infection and the disease . This is because of people being protected from severe disease owing to prior infection or vaccination,” she said.
India in Endemic stage
Kang said an endemic was a disease that was consistently present at high or low frequency. It might differ in different geographies. “Given the virus has been there for over 18 months, with two-thirds of the population already infected by June/July and the continuing cases, we can reasonably say we have reached the endemic stage,” she said regarding the third wave.
Epidemiologist Giridhar Babu said interpretation of terms such as endemicity was bound to be subjective and it needed clear definitions to track Covid’s third wave. Image credits: unsplash