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World in early stages of 3rd wave: warns WHO

World in early stages of 3rd wave: warns WHO
GENEVA/NEW DELHI, JUL 15 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 7/15/2021 12:29:46 PM IST

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the world about the ‘early stages’ of COVID-19 third wave amid the surge of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

“Unfortunately...we are now in the early stages of a third wave”, he said.

The head of WHO said that Delta variant’s spread, along with increased social mobility and the inconsistent use of proven public health measures, is driving an increase in both case numbers and deaths.

Last week marked the fourth consecutive week of rising cases of COVID-19 globally, with increases recorded in all but one of WHO’s six regions. Deaths are also rising again, after 10 weeks of steady decline.

Tedros said, “The Delta variant is now in more than 111 countries and we expect it to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide, if it isn’t already.”

Recalling the sustained decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths that was being driven, in recent months, by increasing vaccination rates in Europe and North America, he sounded alarms over the fresh reversal of that positive trend, reported UN News. Tedros also drew the Emergency Committee on COVID-19’s attention to the ongoing “shocking disparity” in the global distribution of vaccines, as well as unequal access to life-saving tools, reported UN News.

He reiterated his concern that inequity has created a two-track pandemic - namely, one track for countries with the greatest access to vaccines, who are lifting restrictions and reopening their societies, and a second track for those without vaccines access who are left “at the mercy of the virus.”

Many countries still have not received any vaccines, and most have not received enough. Tedros reiterated WHO’s appeal for a massive push to vaccinate at least 10% of the population by September, at least 40% by the end of 2021

3rd wave likely to hit India by end of August, says ICMR 

The third wave of Covid-19 is likely to hit the country at the end of August and chances are that it will not be as intense as the second wave, Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research, has told NDTV.
“There would be a nationwide third wave but that does not mean that it would be as high or as intense as the second wave,” Dr Panda told NDTV in an exclusive interview.  
Four things, he said, could lead to the third wave. The first of these is an instance where the immunity acquired in the first and second wave due drop. “If that goes down, it could lead to a third wave,” he said.
Secondly, there could be a variant that can bypass the immunity acquired. Third – the new variant may not be able to bypass immunity but can circulate fast in the population.
Fourth -- if the restrictions are lifted prematurely by states, it could lead to a fresh surge, Dr Panda said.
Asked if the variant involved could be Delta Plus, he said both Delta and Delta Plus have swept the country and “I’m not expecting any more public health havoc from the Delta variant”.
Earlier this week, the Indian Medical Association, said the third wave is “inevitable and imminent”, pointing out that “in many parts of the country both the government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols”.
The government has also said the people are taking predictions about the second wave about as seriously as “weather predictions”.
 

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