The inevitability of 3rd wave of COVID–19 in India
In a recent press briefing, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Prof. K. Vijayraghavan said that the 3rd wave of Covid 19 is inevitable given the high level of circulating virus. All major newspapers covered this news.
Imagine, we are yet to see the peak of the 2nd wave and an imminent 3rd wave has already been flagged off by experts. A 2nd wave was predicted too, and we all know very well how that is debilitating our country.
No one knows the magnitude of the 3rd wave -whether it would be just a bump of cases or a tsunami as in the 2nd wave.
The hard realities are:
· There are no beds available in hospitals
· Lack of oxygen
· Lack of vaccines
· Lack of ventilators
In order to mitigate the above, India is being extended all possible support from other countries and over the past one week supplies have been coming thick and fast. We need to ensure that these reach their destinations in the shortest possible time and used for patients.
In the meanwhile, more facilities are being repurposed as hospitals (convention centers, schools, train bogies). This is expected to ease some pressure off the existing system.
With ramped-up facilities, more manpower would be required. The Govt. is roping in final year MBBS students for Covid duty.
Many companies (automobiles, steel companies) are channelizing their oxygen output and repurposing it to support healthcare needs.
Regarding the availability of vaccines, both Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech are ramping up production at a fast pace. That alone might not be enough to vaccinate all above the 18-year age groups. The good news is that many other vaccines are on the anvil, some from MNCs and some from Indian companies. That apart, those countries which have excess doses of vaccines are shipping them to India (especially Astra Zeneca/ Oxford vaccine-marketed in India as Covishield)
While the ecosystem is being geared up, it is imperative that every citizen exhibits COVID-appropriate behavior. This should be a non-negotiable facet of our day-to-day living.
Only then can we ensure that the 3rd wave is not a wave but just a small bump in cases.
Let’s make no mistake, this pandemic is here for the long haul and no one is safe unless everyone is safe. We have a lot to do.
To paraphrase what Robert Frost said, “…and miles to go before we sleep”.
Mr. Sriram Balakrishna
Industry Expert & V.P Business Development at Welingkar Institute