Third wave of COVID-19 expected in Sept-Oct; children may not have severe infection: AIIMS director

Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr Randeep Guleria has said that India may witness a third wave of COVID-19 in September-October. The eminent pulmonologist had some good news to share as he expected the possible future wave of coronavirus may be less severe than the second as the Indian Council of Medical Research’s 4th national Covid sero survey has found that two-thirds of the country’s population aged above six to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and also the vaccination drive is going on in a large scale.

Speaking exclusively to CNN-News18, Dr Guleria said that with states gradually lifting the lockdown-like restrictions and people not following the COVID-19 protocols as it should be, the possibility of a third wave hitting the country is most likely in September-October.

Commenting on the predictions of several health experts that the possible third wave of COVID may disproportionately affect the children, the AIIMS director said that he “doesn’t think that children will have a severe infection in the coming wave or will be the ones most affected”. Dr Guleria said the latest serosurvey has found that children contracted the disease during the first and second wave but got away with mild infection. He further stressed that serosurvey and some other studies have also found that 50-60 per cent have developed anti-bodies.

The AIIMS director said that the Bharat Biotech vaccine and the Zydus Cadila vaccine for children may be available soon. Dr Guleria said as Zydus has completed its trials, it is most likely to be launched in September.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has projected that the third wave is likely to hit India by the end of August and said that it isn’t inevitable.


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