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Possibility of Third COVID Wave: Waning Immunity & More Transmissable Variant Could Be Reasons, Says AIIMS Chief

New Delhi: There is a possibility of a third wave of COVID-19 due to waning immunity, the emergence of a more transmissible coronavirus variant capable of escaping the immunity shield and lockdown relaxations, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said Thursday. However, it can be mitigated by following Covid-appropriate behaviour such as maintaining social distancing, using masks, and taking vaccines, he added.

Speaking at an event here, he said several studies and modelling have been conducted to project the trajectory of a possible third wave of the pandemic under different scenarios. “One such model from an IIT shows that if all restrictions are lifted and if a virus (variant) is also able to escape immunity then the next wave can be bigger than the second wave. “If some restrictions are kept and the virus also remains stable then cases will not be much and if we keep more restrictions then cases will further reduce,” he was quoted as saying by News18.

Guleria said even if new variants emerge, the available vaccines can be tweaked. Guleria said the third wave of COVID-19 is being seen in other countries but hospitalisation has come down, indicating that the vaccines are working.