As the threat of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, looms over India, speculations are circulating about whether the new variant will usher in the third wave of coronavirus. Speaking on the subject, Dr JA Jayalal, the National President of the Indian Medical Association, joins Mojo to discuss the possibility of a third wave caused by Omicron.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a warning about a massive Covid third wave wreaking havoc on the country if adequate precautions are not taken. According to South African data, there has been a 10-20% increase in the number of children admitted with moderate to severe infection. The IMA demands that the government expedite the proposal for vaccination of children aged 12 to 18 years at the earliest.
Dr JA Jayalal said that the severity of the infection is determined by the volume of the case. And, based on scientific evidence and experience, the Omicron variant will have a high penetrability and will affect a larger number of people. Even though over 53% of adults are fully vaccinated. We are yet to cover the first and second doses completely. We must reach out to people to a higher level for vaccination. “As people who are vaccinated, the impact on them may be less, and hospitalization may be less,” said Dr JA.
The IMA urges the government to officially announce that additional doses of vaccine will be given to healthcare workers, frontline workers and immunocompromised individuals to boost immunity.
Regarding the third wave’s readiness, Dr Ja stated that infrastructure-wise, we are prepared. “One area in which India is struggling is manpower,” and because the postgraduate selection is being delayed, an additional 45000 frontline workers are missing. It is a major concern if we do not make quick decisions and have enough manpower on the front lines to combat the diseases.”
According to Dr JA, lockdowns are not necessary at this moment. It’s a cause for concern, especially with the holiday season, election polls, meetings, and conferences coming up. We’ve seen the aftermath of the second wave, so it’s up to us to take precautions. “It is the individual’s responsibility to avoid congested areas and self-imposed lockdown.”