Top Virologist Claims Covid 3rd Wave Has Ended, No 4th Wave Will In India

Top Virologist Claims Covid 3rd Wave Has Ended, No 4th Wave Will In India

Observing that the third wave of COVID-19 has ended in India, esteemed virologist Dr. T Jacob John said he is “fairly confident” that there won’t be a fourth wave in the country unless an unexpected variant that behaves in a different way comes up.

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India recorded 3,993 new coronavirus infections, which is the lowest in 662 days, on Tuesday. The third wave of COVID-19 has plateaued in India and the number of cases have started falling after 21st January when 3,47,254 total infections were reported.

John who is the former director of the Indian Council for Medical Research’s Centre of Advanced Research in Virology, said it can be confidently said that the third wave of the pandemic has ended and the country has entered an endemic phase again.

India has entered the endemic stage

“I say (entered the endemic stage) since my own definition of an endemic state is ‘low and steady daily numbers, with only minor fluctuations, if any, for at least four weeks’. My personal expectation, hence opinion, is that we will be in the endemic phase for more than four weeks. All states in India show the same trend, giving me this confidence,” he said.

The ‘endemic stage’ is when a population learns to live alongside a virus. It differs from the ‘epidemic stage’ when the virus overwhelms a population. Various virologists were also of the opinion that there would be no third wave. When John was asked about this, he explained that the third wave was driven by Omicron and no one had predicted something like this to emerge. The assumption that ‘no third wave would come’ was based on the variants present at that time.

No fourth wave unless… 

Unless an unexpected variant that behaves in a different way from alpha, beta, gamma or if Omicron, there would be no fourth wave according to John. And with all the epidemiological and virus variant information available in India currently and also keeping in mind the global trend, John is confident that a fourth wave will not occur. 

Past trends

Elaborating on the matter, the virologist stated all previous pandemics of respiratory-transmitted diseases have been due to influenza and every influenza pandemic in the past ended after two or three waves, and remained in an endemic phase, with small fluctuations of seasonal upsurges which always settled back to low numbers.

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