Will India See a 2nd Wave of COVID-19 Infections in December?

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With many European countries seeing a “second wave” of coronavirus infections- countries like UK, France and Germany reimposing restrictions.

Notably, the UK has gone for a month-long lockdown starting from Thursday, and similar curbs have been put in place in France and Germany.

Dr Giridhar Babu of Public Health Foundation of India, is part of the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) research task force on epidemiology and surveillance. He said that a second wave appears to be a distant possibility in India.

Speakin to The News Minute, he said, “We can’t speak of a second wave until the first wave is over. First wave will be considered to be over only when the case count and test positivity rate will be bare minimum i.e. less than 5%. This is not the case yet and the virus spread is only increasing from one area to another.”

He also pointed out that the non-uniform way in which testing is being carried out across the country makes it hard to ascertain the real situation.

A second wave is a phenomenon of infections that can develop during a pandemic. The disease infects one group of people first, and then the infections appear to go down. But then, the infections rise in a different part of the population, resulting in what is commonly known as a second wave of infections.

Europe, for example, is now suffering from a second wave of the Sars-CoV-2 virus attack. The level of infections started rising after restrictions were significantly eased during summer. Many countries are now forced to re-introduce targeted, localised restrictions, though not a complete national lockdown.

Similarly, India is fearing the second wave as Delhi, for example, suddenly saw a spurt in cases in mid-October. The government is trying to strategise fresh containment measures. The health ministry has said that a combination of factors is responsible for this spurt in cases: The festive season and greater socialising, opening up of public places and the onset of winter in the north are possibly to blame.

Meanwhile, Odisha is bracing for a possible second wave of Covid-19 during the second week of December despite recording encouraging numbers over the last few days.

The projections suggest that if there is a second wave in the state, it will be between December 15 and January 15.

The projection was made after studying second waves in other countries, an official said.

At a review meeting, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stressed on vigilance, citing the examples of Kerala and Delhi where cases have seen a resurgence. “In order to avoid the second phase of the infection, we need to strictly adhere to the safety rules, such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and washing our hands,” he said.

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