A modelling study by a team of scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Imperial College London, UK says that the third wave of Covid infection seems unlikely to be as severe as the second wave. Rapid vaccination programme across the country could possibly lower down the threat of another wave.
India’s first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection began in late January 2020 with a peak attained in mid-September. This phase was relatively mild as compared to the second wave that followed, from mid- February 2021 onwards, causing devastation across the country.
A major factor behind the brutal second wave is the emergence of more infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2, mainly B.1.1.7 and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, of which the latter is causing fresh rounds of infections across the globe.
“ Plausibility of a third wave of COVID-19 in India: a mathematical modelling based analysis” has been authored by Sandip Mandal, Balram Bhargava and Samiran Panda from the ICMR and Nimalan Arinaminpathy from the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, UK.
Considering the four hypotheses for the emergence of a third wave, the study said, infection-induced immunity may decay over time, permitting re-infection of those previously exposed, even if the circulating virus remains unchanged.