New Delhi: While the entire country is still recovering from the second wave of coronavirus, AIIMS chief Randeep Guleria has cautioned against the third wave of the novel virus, calling it 'inevitable'. His statement comes after many states begun unlocking amid the downward trend of daily coronavirus cases in the country.
"As we have started unlocking, there is again a lack of Covid-appropriate behaviour. We don't seem to have learnt from what happened between the first and the second wave. Again crowds are building up... people are gathering. It will take some time for the number of cases to start rising at the national level. Third wave is inevitable and it could hit the country within the next six to eight weeks... may be a little longer," Dr Guleria said. "It all depends on how we go ahead in terms of Covid-appropriate behaviour and preventing crowds," he told NDTV.
He said that vaccination a major approach to combat the virus and added that increasing gap between two doses of Covishield, a decision that has attracted flak, is not a bad idea.
"That (vaccination) is the main challenge. A new wave can usually take up to three months but it can also take much lesser time, depending on various factors. Apart from Covid-appropriate behaviour, we need to ensure strict surveillance. Last time, we saw a new variant - which came from outside and developed here - led to the huge surge in the number of cases. We know the virus will continue to mutate. Aggressive surveillance in hotspots is required," the AIIMS chief said.
Stressing that "testing, tracking and treating" should be the main focus, he said "Mini-lockdown in any part of the country, which witnesses a surge and a rise in positivity rate beyond 5 per cent, will be required. Unless we're vaccinated, we're vulnerable in the coming months."
We have to factor in human behaviour while unlocking, he said, adding that it should be done in a graded manner.
He also warned against the spread of Delta variant and said," Virus is still mutating, we need to be more careful."