Chennai: A 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, according to a Reuters poll of medical experts.
But over 70 per cent of experts said any new outbreak would be better controlled compared with the current one, which has been far more devastating – with a shortage of vaccines, medicines, oxygen and hospital beds – than the smaller first surge in infections last year.
Forty healthcare specialists, doctors, scientists, virologists, epidemiologists and professors from around the world were questioned by Reuters for this snap survey.
Among those who predicted there would be a third wave, more than 85%, or 21 out of 24 respondents said it would hit by October, including three who projected it to arrive by August and 12 who gave a September timeline. The others predicted an arrival of the third wave between November and February next year.
“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,” said Dr Randeep Guleria, director at All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).