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Third COVID Wave To Hit India By October: Reuters Poll

New Delhi: The third wave of coronavirus infections is likely to hit India by October, and although it will be better controlled than the latest outbreak the pandemic will remain a public health threat for at least another year, reported Al Jazeera, quoting a Reuters news agency’s poll of medical experts.

The June 3-17 snap survey of 40 healthcare specialists, doctors, scientists, virologists, epidemiologists and professors from around the world showed a significant rise in vaccinations will likely provide some cover to a fresh outbreak.

More than 70 percent of experts, or 24 of 34, said any new outbreak would be better controlled compared with the current one, which has been far more devastating – with shortages of vaccines, medicines, oxygen and hospital beds – than the smaller first surge in infections last year, the report added.

“It will be more controlled, as cases will be much less because more vaccinations would have been rolled out and there would be some degree of natural immunity from the second wave,” Dr Randeep Guleria, director at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was quoted as saying.

While 25 of 38 respondents said future coronavirus variants would not make existing vaccines ineffective, in response to a separate question, 30 of 41 experts said the coronavirus will remain a public health threat in India for at least a year.

“COVID-19 is a solvable problem, as obviously it was easy to get a solvable vaccine. In two years, India likely will develop herd immunity through vaccine and exposure of the disease,” Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland and international scientific adviser, Global Virus Network was quoted as saying in the report.