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Third Wave will peak faster by mid-Feb: Experts

08:37 AM Jan 15, 2022 IST | ZEHRU NISSA
third wave will peak faster by mid feb  experts
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Srinagar: With the cases of COVID19 steeply piling up in J&K, influenza experts and epidemiologists are of the opinion that the Third Wave would peak in a month, the period feared to shoot up the number of hospitalisation due to ‘thousands and thousands getting infected’.

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In the past fortnight, the number of COVID19 cases in J&K has increased from 169 to 3252, a 19 times increase. The current number of active cases is 12860 and rising with every day. Greater Kashmir spoke to various experts about various aspects of the present wave.

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When will the Wave Peak?

Prof Parvaiz Koul, Director SKIMS and an influenza expert said taking into account the case rise, the experience of other places hit by the wave and modulations, it is likely that the Wave will peak by mid-February and the cases would start coming down after that till the end of the month and hopefully, it will be over in March.

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Prof Koul said the Wave will peak faster than the first and second wave and the curve will be “far sharper”. “Look at how the cases have reached over 3000 in just two weeks,” he said.

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Prof S Saleem Khan, Head Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at GMC Srinagar on the same note said that the current wave was moving towards a peak fast. “In the first wave, it took us over three months to record 1000 cases, which reduced to 25 days in the second wave.

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This time, it just took 13 days,” he said. Prof Khan said the Third Wave could peak anytime between February 1 and 10 if restrictions are put in place. “It may peak even before that if there are no restrictions given the pace of rise of infections,” he said.

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He said that it has been seen that lockdowns and restrictions on the mixing of people makes the waves less steep. “That way, the peak could be deferred and it could also reduce the impact on healthcare services,” he said.

Prof Naveed Nazir Shah, Head Department of Chest Medicine at GMC Srinagar said the number of patients requiring admissions was “very low” at present. “Even with 5000 plus active cases, we have nearly the same number of patients we had a month ago,” he said. He said that the circulating variant, which possibly could be Omicron, was “less virulent”, however, adding that as the number of cases piles up, it could rise. “We have to keep the guard up and be prepared for handling a load that could be there in the coming few weeks,” he said.

Dr Rouf Hussain Rather, Community Medicine Specialist, working as In-charge of Data Analysis Section at Divisional COVID19 Control Room Kashmir said the peak of Influenza Waves was “multi-factorial”. He said that it was difficult to predict the peak value, that is the number of people who will test positive when the wave peaks. He said the Second Wave spanned over three months and this time around, it is going to be shorter. “It seems, the Wave would be over within the month of February and the Wave would not last more than two months,” he said. He added that the Wave however would affect “a much higher number of people”. Dr Rather said the Wave hits different districts at different times. “The differences between different areas get enhanced. Currently, how a district would be impacted by this Wave would depend on vaccination, and the stages of the Pandemic they are in,” he said. He said the positive percentage of various districts varied and was the highest in Srinagar. “Some districts are hit later in the Pandemic. We have seen it earlier,” he said.

Prof Koul said the transmissibility of the Virus is very high and is anything between 4-10 times of the Delta variant. “So that way, it is very likely that we will have a very high number of people who would be infected,” he said. He said the proportion of people requiring medical attention among the infected is very less. “However, the sheer number of these, those requiring admission, could be high. If we had only five out of 100 requiring admission in Second Wave, now we will have only say, one or two requiring admission. But we will not have just 100 infected, we may have 1000 instead,” he said.

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