Lives and livelihood have been lost on account of a marauding covid-19. Recently, the J&K government, in view of the lesser number of cases compared to previous two months, eased restrictions which were placed to arrest the spread of the pandemic when it started to peak.
Though on a decline, the second wave is far from over. It is in such a scenario that some experts believe that it may be seeding the ground for a possible third wave.
The questions also galore if the 3rd wave could be more serious than the previous ones. Based on a mathematical modelling study led by the scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Imperial College London, scientists believe that the third was not going to be devastating than the one going on, although on decline.
However, the vaccination remains the key as well as its efficacy against the new variants. Also optimism is high among the concerned quarters that governments, including Jammu and Kashmir, are better prepared.
By now, the governments have gauged what is needed to tide out the peak phases in case the third wave hits.
While a third wave is expected to be significantly buffered by expanding vaccination, there are signals of caution as well.
A study of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, suggests that current vaccines may be less effective against the Beta variant first identified in South Africa.
The study, published in the journal Science on June 24, used cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to compare the spike protein from the original virus found in China in 2019, with that of the Beta variant, and the Alpha variant first identified in the UK.
Cryo-Em is an imaging technique used to determine the biomolecular structures at near-atomic resolution.
Amid rising concerns over the Delta Plus variant of the virus, India’s Covid Task Force chief VK Paul, who is also a NITI Aayog Member, asserted that there is no scientific data so far to establish that the new variant was highly transmissible or reduces vaccine efficacy.
Regarding another wave, he said, it would be dependent on several factors, including overall discipline in terms of Covid-appropriate behaviour, testing and containment strategies, and vaccination rates.
In nutshell, vaccination, masks, avoiding crowds and physical distancing remain the main protection against the ravaging virus for the foreseeable future. The people are thus expected to follow them religiously.