New Delhi: A third wave of the coronavirus is "inevitable", the government's top scientific adviser, K. VijayRaghavan warned on Wednesday, as per an NDTV report.
He warned that vaccines will need to be "updated" to deal with the new strains that have accelerated the second wave in India, overwhelming hospitals and killing thousands.
"Phase 3 (third wave) is inevitable, given the high levels at which this virus is circulating. But it is not clear at what time scale this Phase 3 will occur. Hopefully, incrementally, but we should prepare for new waves. Ongoing surveillance is needed as are vaccine upgrades," Dr K Vijay Raghavan said at a government briefing.
Asked if a nationwide lockdown was the only solution to contain the unprecedented rise in cases, NITI Aayog member and chief of the national expert group on vaccines VK Paul said, "...If anything more is required those options are always being discussed. There's already a guideline to states to impose restrictions to suppress chain of transmission."
Battered by a ferocious second wave of the coronavirus, India accounted for nearly half the cases reported worldwide last week, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, as COVID-19 deaths in the nation rose by a record 3,780 during the past 24 hours.
Hospitals are scrabbling for beds and oxygen as they desperately battle a second deadly surge in infections, while morgues and crematoriums struggle to deal with a seemingly unstoppable flow of bodies.
Many people have died in ambulances and car parks waiting for a bed or oxygen.
In a weekly report, the WHO said India accounted for 46 per cent of global cases and a quarter of global deaths reported in the past week. Daily infections rose by 3.82 lakh on Wednesday, health ministry data showed even as testing has slowed in many areas. The number has been in excess of 3 lakh every day for the past two weeks.