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Will Covid 4th wave hit India? What ex-ICMR chief says amid Omicron BA.2 surge

With Omicron BA.2 fueling a massive COVID surge in Europe and parts of Asia again, an eminent Indian virologist stated n Saturday said the chances of the fourth COVID-19 wave are low, however, it is required to remain vigilant. The probability is low, “but nobody can predict it will not happen,” he said. Further noting that we should not be worried about what’s happening in China and other parts of the world, he said, “contexts are extremely different”.  

It is required to remain vigilant…

“There is no scientific, epidemiological reason to predict a fourth COVID-19 wave but nobody can predict that it will not happen. I can say the probability is extremely low,” Dr T Jacob John, former ICMR chief told news agency ANI

He further stressed that it is important to be vigilant and cautious. There is a need to keep looking at the viruses and their genetic sequences and see if there are any new variants appearing and if any variants are overtaking Omicron locally in more places.

IIT Kanpur COVID 4th wave model…

Speaking on the context of the IIT Kanpur model’s prediction of 4th wave, he said that waves cannot be predicted based on mathematical modelling.

“I do not understand how fear needs to be inculcated in human beings and for what purposes. So I don’t believe in predicting a wave based on mathematical modelling. Mathematical modelling is good only if all the elements go into it.”

At the same time, noting that virus move in an extremely unpredictable manner, he said that it cannot be said categorically that 4th wave can never happen. 

“People don’t understand one thing Omicron was totally unpredictable. It is not from Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Kappa, Omicron has an unknown pathway of location. I’m saying this because if a similar unknown pathway or mutation resulted in a variant will that be more transmissible? I doubt. So, I am not at all agreeing with the prediction of the fourth wave, but I will not be categorically saying that there cannot be a fourth that is for us to wait and see,” he added.

The COVID surge in China…

As China reported a spike in COVID-19 cases he said, “we need not worry about what’s happening there because the contexts are extremely different. China had a zero COVID policy. They aggressively tested, quarantined and kept the curve suppressed for a long time and so now Omicron is unstoppable, catches in Hong Kong, New Zealand, China, wherever the previous in Taiwan everywhere.”

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