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Third India Covid wave ‘imminent’

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A woman waits at a Covid-19 testing centre in Chennai, India. AFP

Third India Covid wave ‘imminent’

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has warned that a third wave of Covid-19 is “inevitable” and “imminent” and alerted state governments against allowing potential “super-spreader” events.

The top medical body raised specific concern over tourism activities, pilgrimages and other forms of mass congregations that have been permitted in several states amid the declining second coronavirus wave.

It posited that an improvement in vaccination coverage, along with strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour for a minimum of three months could mitigate the impact of the potential wave.

“In many parts of the country, both [the] government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols. Tourist bonanza[s], pilgrimage travel, religious fervour – all are needed but can wait for [a] few more months,” the IMA said.

It warned that “opening up these rituals and enabling people without vaccination to go scot-free [to] these mass gatherings [creates] potential super spreaders” of a “brutal third wave”, which could annul the minor economic gains that would be made by relaxing Covid curbs now.

“The consequences of treating a patient with Covid in hospital and its impacts on the economy will be much better than the economic loss we suffer from avoiding such mass gathering,” it added.



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