India’s largest public sector bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), in its five-page-long report has said that the third COVID-19 wave could be as severe as second. However, the report stated that the coronavirus-related fatalities could be minimised with better preparedness.
The report stated that the average duration of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the worst-hit countries is 98 days as against 108 days during the second wave. "Average duration of third wave for top countries is 98 days and that of second wave is 108 days, with third wave peak as a multiple of second at 1.8 and second wave as a multiple of first at 5.2 (for India it was at 4.2)," the report stated.
"It is also observed that in third wave, if we are better prepared, the decline in serious case rate will lead to less number of deaths. We find out that if serious cases decline from 20% to 5% (due to better health infrastructure and rigorous vaccination) in third wave, then the number of deaths in third wave could significantly reduce to 40,000 as compared to current deaths of more that 1.7 lakh," the report added.
The report also mentioned that children, who as experts predict are going to be severely affected in the third wave, should be vaccinated. "Vaccination should be the key priority, especially for the children who could be the next vulnerable group. With around 15-17 crore children in the 12-18 age bracket, India should go for an advanced procurement strategy like that adopted by developed nations to inoculate this age-group," the SBI report said.
Meanwhile, India reported 1,32,788 new coronavirus infections taking the country's tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,83,07,832, while the daily positivity rate has further dropped to 6.57 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday. The COVID-19 death toll climbed to 3,35,102 with 3,207 fresh deaths.
The active cases were recorded below 20 lakh for the second consecutive day, the data updated at 8 am showed. Also, 20,19,773 tests were conducted on Tuesday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 35,00,57,330, while the daily positivity was recorded at 6.57 per cent. It has been less than 10 per cent for nine consecutive days, the ministry said.
(With PTI inputs)