Third Covid wave unlikely, says AIIMS chief

At 7,579, cases lowest in 543 days

Third Covid wave unlikely, says AIIMS chief

Randeep Guleria, AIIMS- New Delhi chief

New Delhi, November 23

In a significant comment on the future course of the Covid-19 pandemic, AIIMS- New Delhi chief Randeep Guleria on Tuesday said it was “very unlikely” that India would see a third wave.

He predicted that Covid, like swine flu (H1N1), would become endemic and the disease would cyclically affect the vulnerable and immuno-suppressed population but would not acquire a severe form, as previously predicted by experts. “As the national vaccine programme moves forward with vaccines already holding up in preventing disease and death, the chances of having any huge wave are declining with each passing day. It is very unlikely that we will see a third wave,” Guleria said on a day when India logged 7,579, the lowest daily new infections in 543 days, and the active cases the lowest in 536 days.

Asked if a booster dose was necessary, the AIIMS director said no.

“Covid vaccines are holding out – we are not seeing breakthrough infections, we have a high seropositivity rate and antibody presence. As of now, we really do not need a booster dose. We are quite well-protected and should focus on getting more and more people covered with the first and second doses. That is the way to get maximum protection against the disease,” Guleria said.

The AIIMS chief was speaking at the launch of “Going Viral”, written by ICMR director general Balram Bhargava. The book details the journey of India’s indigenous Covid shot Covaxin, a Bharat Biotech and ICMR collaboration. — TNS

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