covid: Two in three Indians certain a third wave will hit India within next 3 months: Survey | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: With close to 16,700 new infections recorded in India on Thursday, two in three Indians are certain a third Covid-19 wave will hit the country within the next three months, according to survey conducted by Local Circles.
Of the 10,158 people surveyd, 28% of citizens said there is a “very high likelihood”, 43% said “high likelihood”, 17% said “low likelihood”. Only 4% said there is “no likelihood”, and 3% did not have an opinion. A similar survey conducted in the first week of December had indicated that 38% of citizens believe the likelihood of third wave wave is high in the next 3 months. This percentage has now increased to 63%, indicating a 65% increase over four weeks in the number of Indians who believe a third wave is likely to come in the next 3 months.
The daily case count in India has gone up more than 2.6 times since Monday and India has experienced an increase in the daily COVID cases from 5000-6000 range to 14,000-16,000 in just a week. A 52-year-old man in Maharashtra with a travel history to Nigeria and who suffered from diabetes became India’s first Omicron casualty when he died due to a heart attack at a Pune hospital.
Further, the number of individuals infected with Omicron is rapidly increasing with 20 cases in the first week of December to over 1,200 now. Maharashtra, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Delhi, Gujarat and Karnataka have emerged as dtates of concern on the basis of weekly Covid-19 cases and positivity.
The Omicron variant was categorised as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation in late November and has been detected in over 107 countries with all major nations included. The latest data suggests that the variant has between 30-50 mutations, with likely a 500% transmission advantage over the base or alpha variants of COVID.
The UK has over 100,000 daily cases while the USA is witnessing an average of 400,000 daily cases with over 500,000 reported on Tuesday. Niti Aayog has indicated that if India sees a scale of Omicron spread like the UK, it could see nearly 14 lakh cases every day given its population.
Vaccine efficacy reports against Omicron are also not encouraging with most two-dose vaccines losing their efficacy, thereby relying on the need for a third jab to provide protection. The two-dose Covishield-Astrazeneca efficacy has also been reported to be in single digit against Omicron.
Given the scenario, majority of citizens surveyed think that the government should expedite a project to either build permanent or temporary Primary and Community Health Centers, which will not only address the shortage of these centers across rural areas but can act as the first response to meet the COVID emergency need of the villagers for the future pandemic.
Given the isolation need for villagers, 79% of citizens surveyed believe that the Government should create a mission mode initiative to convert Panchayat Ghars into isolation centers with basic infrastructures like beds and toilets.
“The Government must immediately start a major awareness drive to sensitise rural citizens about Omicron and the importance of adhering to Covid appropriate norms. A well-planned strategy in place that allocates COVID-related infrastructure to the district, block and at panchayat level with defined path for access to hospitals, isolation centers are indeed the need of the hour to minimise the impact of Omicron and the 3 rd wave of COVID across rural India,” said Local Circles in a statement.
Further, as vaccines remain unavailable to children, 81% of citizens surveyed believe that it is critical that the government puts immediate focus on funding and enabling a staffed and dedicated children healthcare as a precautionary measure.