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Sustained actions can take the sting out of Covid-3rd wave: CAC

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Srinagar: Prophesied third wave of COVID-19 is a possibility and our shrewd, sustained actions can change its occurrence from fact to a fiction, states the report of Covid Advisory Committee (CAC), submitted to the government.

The report reads that COVID third wave, if it occurs, could be mild, less severe, or more severe based on the interplay of virus variants and vaccine.

“Generally speaking, the third wave, if not interrupted, is more severe than the first or second wave,” the report reads.

The report said that COVID third wave could occur within six months of the decline of the second wave and calls for intensive surveillance for the period of June to Dec 2021.

“COVID third wave could occur in any of the seven population groups defined. However, it is speculated that the population segments involved in the first and second wave may be less affected or not affected at all. So children, pregnant women, and the suburban population need to be watched out more closely,” it said.

The report said that a meticulous surveillance protocol to monitor and block COVID third wave has been devised and detailed out.

“It works around several principles — namely sequencing, travel advisory policy, COVID-appropriate discipline, extended COVID-appropriate discipline protocol, sero-surveys to evaluate population susceptibility, and aggressive vaccination policy and program,” it said.

The report said that an expert team well-versed with epidemiology and viruses needs to put their heads together weekly to monitor the COVID third wave and raise early alarms in any of the parameters which need attention and, or corrections.

“There are indications that pandemic in the Union territory has reached a plateau and will, as expected, show a downward trend to touch the trough. This should give a sense of relief to the society, medical fraternity, and administration, who all had been put under stress due to the surge. While so, we have to learn lessons of epidemiology and virology of the pandemics,” it said.

“Pandemics in the past as well as this pandemic have shown repeated waves of a surge of various intensities. This is due to the continued development of variants over time, which come back to infect and ravage through the next susceptible population,” it said.

“Government of Jammu & Kashmir has already framed committee to devise an action plan for a possible third wave. The action plan shall focus on the preparedness of health infrastructure, enhancement of testing, treatment protocols, arrangement of essential drugs/logistics, machinery and equipment, oxygen supply, manpower, ramping up COVID hospital beds and critical care units especially for pediatrics/neonatal age groups, strengthen COVID-care facilities in rural and far-flung areas, devising additional COVID-appropriate behavior and SOP/guidelines,” the report said.

The Committee is headed by Prof. Mohammad S. Khuroo (Chairman), and Dr Shakti Gupta (Co-Chairman), while Prof. A. G. Ahanger, Prof. Samia Rashid, Dr Yashpal Sharma, Yasin M Choudhary, Dr. Mohammad Salim Khan, Dr Muzaffar Jan, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Dr. Khalid are its member and Dr Nighat Firdous, special invitee. (With inputs from KNO)

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