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Third wave can be avoided if strict measures are followed: Centre

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Mass testing of traders and businessmen in Srinagar city centre on Tuesday, Sep 8, 2020 (Photo: KM/Umar Ganie)


Days after its warning that the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is “inevitable”, the Union Health Ministry on Friday clarified its statement and said that it can be avoided if appropriate norms are followed.

“If we take strong measures, the third wave may not happen in all the places or indeed anywhere at all. It depends much on how effectively the guidance is implemented at the local level, in the states, in districts and in the cities everywhere,” Principal Scientific Advisor to Centre K Vijay Raghavan said, as reported by news agency ANI.

 

Raghavan had on Wednesday warned that a ‘third wave of COVID-19 is inevitable’ as the new variants of the infection are more transmissible, adding that vaccines need to be constantly updated to tackle them.

The second wave of the pandemic had hit India in mid-March that led to an exponential rise in daily cases. Currently, as per the Health Ministry data, 12 states have over one lakh actove COVID-19 cases each, while the count is between 50,000 and one lakh in seven.

It said that positivity rate is currently above 15 per cent in 24 states in the country and in the range of 5-15 per cent in nine, adding that Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Chhattisgarh are among states and union territories showing continued plateauing or decrease in daily new COVID-19 cases.

“Other states with an increasing trend in daily new cases are Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland,” Health Ministry Additional Secretary Arti Ahuja was quoted as saying by ANI.