Covid-19 third wave unpredictable: AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria


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Health workers take nasal swab samples of passengers to test for COVID-19 at a bus terminal in New Delhi.

India might not see the third wave of coronavirus disease but it largely depended on people following Covid Appropriate Behaviour, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said Saturday.

Talking to reporters at the Gitam Institute in Visakhapatnam, where he received the Foundation Day Award in recognition of his services, Randeep Guleria noted that the only unpredictable part was how the virus behaved.

“But I don’t think that we will see a third wave which will be as bad as the second wave,” Guleria observed.

Referring to apprehensions that the possible third wave could infect children more, the AIIMS chief pointed out that children would be “more susceptible” because they were not being vaccinated.

“The general feeling is that adults are getting vaccinated, children are not being vaccinated and therefore if there is a new wave it will affect those who are more susceptible. Children will be more susceptible,” he noted.

More than 50 per cent of children have already been infected as per the sero survey and have antibodies, Guleria pointed out.

But, he added, hopefully there would be a (anti-Covid) vaccine for children also coming up in another month or two. Then children would also start getting vaccinated.

He said the vaccines were still effective as far as severe disease was concerned. “Vaccines are helping in preventing severe disease and death from Covid-19. Infections are still happening but those infected are predominantly those who have not been vaccinated. That’s why we are saying more and more people need to get vaccinated,” he added.

“Those getting infected even after vaccination, what we call breakthrough infection, are predominantly getting milder infection. So vaccines are effective in giving protection from severe disease,” he noted.

Guleria, a renowned pulmonologist, was presented the Gitam Foundation Day Award that carried Rs 10 lakh and a citation. Gitam Institutions chairman M Sri Bharat presented the award and felicitated Guleria on the occasion. 

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