The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday said that a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is "inevitable" and "imminent".
"With the global evidence available and the history of any pandemic, the third wave is inevitable and imminent," the medical association said in a press release.
The top doctors' body also warned the state governments against allowing potential "super-spreader" events.
"Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour all are needed, but can wait for a few more months. Opening up these rituals and enabling people without vaccination to go scot-free in these mass gatherings are potential super spreaders for the COVID third wave," it said.
The IMA expressed concern over governments and people being complacent and engaging in mass gatherings without following COVID-19 protocols in many parts of the country.
Based on the experience of the last one-and-a-half years of the war with the virus and the emerging evidence, it is obvious that by making the universal vaccination drive reach the maximum number of people and strictly following COVID-appropriate behaviour, people can face the third wave with confidence and mitigate its impact, the doctors' body said.
"The consequences of treating a patient with COVID in a hospital and its impacts on the economy will be much better than the economic loss we suffer by avoiding such mass gatherings. It is the duty and responsibility of everyone at this moment to strictly enforce COVID-appropriate behaviour for minimum three more months and ensure that everyone near our houses is getting vaccinated," the IMA said.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)
First Published: IST