Is 3rd wave entering with the festive season?

As the festive season has begun in India, the most relevant question being asked is, is the Covid-19 fear over for India?

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NH Web Desk

As the festive season has begun in India, the most relevant question being asked is, is the Covid-19 fear over for India? While the country is in festive mode despite the pandemic fear, public places are buzzing and flouting safety norms at some places. Apparently, a decline in cases with the lowest daily rise (on Tuesday 12th October since early March as 14,313 fresh infections) and surge in vaccination, has boosted people's confidence. However, the policymakers have been alerting that a 3rd wave is approaching soon. Recently, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) warned that revenge tourism may trigger the third wave, with cases surging by over 40%.

Talking about the current situation of the pandemic, eminent public health experts say

* During the festive season, adherence to public health measures is drastically going down. It is likely that there would be more possibility of exposure.

* Schools and colleges are opening, offices are calling employees back and markets are flooded with people, this is a cause for worry. * Globally, and in India too, overconfidence has been observed among the youth.

* The biggest festive season with Durga Puja has begun. Soon Dussehra, Karwa Chauth, Diwali & Chhath Puja & wedding season will also be taking place. There is an urgent need to be cautious.

Though state governments have allowed celebrations to go ahead with strict protocols in place, experts say festivals give people the license to move around and mingle — conditions in which the coronavirus thrives as in India, festivities last for a couple of hours and that's enough time for the virus to transmit from one person to another, and from one person to many. Amid this, the experts are also concerned about waning immunity. Talking about fears of the much-touted third wave, an expert said

"Let's say we give it about six months or so, which is valid [for immunity to] respiratory viruses. By that count, if we take April as our peak, we are coming into October and that's six months. So even those people who had COVID-19 in April could become vulnerable in winter." When it comes to India's vaccine rollout, nearly 50% of the country's adult population has received at least one dose.

Some experts are hopeful that the current rate of inoculation coupled with the approval of more vaccines in the future could help in combating the virus. Other experts, however, are concerned by the low percentage of people who have received a second dose.

So, for safety, experts have cautioned people against laxity in pandemic-related protocols.

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