Experts are of the opinion that despite India’s spiked number of vaccinations in the past week, the country may not be able to avoid the third wave of the pandemic.
According to a report by Bloomberg, despite halting all exports in April and benefiting from a huge vaccine-producing industry, India has covered only 4 per cent of its population. At this rate, some scientists say a third wave could arrive within months. The sustainability of the swelled jab numbers is also being questioned. There is also considerable hesitancy.
If an average pace of about 3.2 million daily doses is maintained, India will be able to vaccinate 45 per cent of its adult population by year-end and 60 per cent by the end of March 2022, Anubhuti Sahay and Saurav Anand, South Asia economists at Standard Chartered Plc, wrote in a report on Wednesday, quoted by Bloomberg.
India also expects to add six more vaccines to its armory in “the coming months,” including Sputnik V.
Last month, IIT-Delhi warned the national capital to be prepared for a worst-case scenario where 45,000 Coronavirus infections might be reported daily with 9,000 patients needing hospitalization in the third covid-19 wave.
“Vaccine coverage of the population is a critical issue, but in India, the numbers are so huge that a mere 30-40 percent of the population being covered may not be enough to contain the virus. Earlier, it was thought that 60-70 percent population coverage would work, but now it seems, 85-90 percent of the population needs to be covered,” Gagandeep Kang, microbiologist and virologist, told Moneycontrol.
AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Saturday warned that if Covid-appropriate behaviour is not followed and crowding not prevented, the next wave of the viral infection could strike the country in the next six to eight weeks.
A snap survey was recently conducted by Reuters between June 3-17 wherein 40 specialists, including doctors, scientists, virologists, epidemiologists and professors from around the world, were asked when they expected the third wave to hit.