The next 100-125 days are important in the fight against COVID-19, according to NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul, who also stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a deadline to halt the pandemic’s third wave, which he believes is achievable. He told a news conference that the globe is going towards a third wave of Covid, and that even the Prime Minister has addressed it as a warning that nothing should be taken for granted.
“Leaving the North and South American regions, all other WHO regions are moving from bad to worse. The world is moving towards a third wave and this is a fact. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has asked us to take this as a red flag and warning…. The prime minister has given us the target to stall the third wave and it is possible,” Paul said.
He said Spain has registered a 64-per cent rise in the weekly number of coronavirus cases, while the Netherlands has witnessed a 300-per cent increase in the figure.
“If you look at Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand…the system was stable in Thailand, (but) there has been an increase. If you look at the data of Africa, there has been a rise in the (number of) cases by 50 per cent,” Paul said.
He said the next 100-125 days are going to be critical.
“If we all decide, then there will not be any third wave. As the vaccination drive pick ups further…(in) three-four months, there is a possibility that we will be in a safe zone. But the next 100-125 days are critical, both for the system and the people. We have to remain cautious,” he added.
Paul said a large population is still vulnerable to the virus.
“The question of the third wave keeps coming back. This is because our population is still very vulnerable. We still have not reached the stage of herd immunity nor have we reached the stage of infection and we do not want to acquire herd immunity through infections. We are progressing in terms of vaccines and nearly 50 per cent of our most vulnerable group above the age of 45 years is protected. This will also impact mortality and it will come down, but the infection can spread. We are vulnerable, the virus is still around,” he said.