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COVID 3rd wave: Should prepare for hit before mathematical models suggest, say experts

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State governments are tightening their preparedness in anticipation of a third wave as restrictions begin to ease across the country. In Maharashtra, the health department has flagged concerns of the delta plus variant. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed doctors and officers to ensure that medical supplies and equipment are available across urban and rural areas.

State governments are tightening their preparedness in anticipation of a third wave as restrictions begin to ease across the country.
In Maharashtra, the health department has flagged concerns of the delta plus variant. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed doctors and officers to ensure that medical supplies and equipment are available across urban and rural areas.
In the capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that the government will train 5,000 youngsters as health assistants to doctors and nurses.
Karnataka set up a 13-member panel headed by Doctor Devi Shetty to prepare the plan for the third wave. Even as the state awaits that report, it has started ramping up its medical infrastructure and oxygen supply. It is also focusing on genome sequencing to study new variants and mutations.
Also, Tamil Nadu has announced a set of measures from training medics to boosting infrastructure. Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Gujarat have also constituted expert committees to prepare for the possible third wave.
To discuss this CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to Dr Suneela Garg, Member of Lancet Commission on COVID and Advisor to ICMR, Dr Rahul Pandit, Fortis Hospitals Mumbai and Member of Maharashtra COVID Taskforce and Dr Vishal Rao of HCG Cancer Center and Member of Karnataka COVID Taskforce.
Dr Rahul Pandit said, “We should be prepared that we look at the possibility of the third wave coming in maybe even at a shorter interval than what the mathematical models are predicting and then prepare accordingly.”
“It is a very difficult question to answer how many people will be affected. We actually had no discussion about increasing or decreasing the lockdown curb. We have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario so project a little bit more than the second wave, be prepared for that and then try and do everything that we can to blunt it down to a point where it does not affect us at all.
Dr Vishal Rao said, “The calculation that we are currently projecting in real-time will differ from what calculated epidemiological models are saying. Having said that we need to understand a couple of clear facts. It is very crucial for us to understand is genome sequencing will be the very relevant point at this juncture, we have already started looking at mapping the genome sequence because we want to be a little ahead of the game.”
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.

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