Coronavirus outbreaks have disrupted public life around the world. Further, the second wave of the corona has hit again this year, which is not gone yet. And the third wave has already started. Concerns have also been raised about just how terrible the third wave of Covid is going to be. The COVID-19 cases are rising all over the world; hence the third wave has approached us already. Even the vaccinated people are being affected. The highly contagious Indian Delta variant is mostly responsible for the third wave.
What is COVID-19 third wave?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned about the third wave. The world is already in the early stage of the third coronavirus wave amid the surge and spread of the delta variant. As the variant born in 2019 is continuously mutating in more transmissible variants, WHO shows concerns about the third wave. However, India is expected to face the worst condition of the third wave in the next few months, experts say. Previously, India experienced the worst condition in the second wave compared to the other countries in the world.
The reason behind the third wave is the new variant's quick mutation as well as the ineffectiveness of the vaccine. Vaccinated people are also affected by the new variant, but it is less deadly for the vaccinated person.
We are not following the COVID-19 health protocols, and we are gathering anywhere without maintaining the proper health guideline. As a result, the infection is rising upfront. When the rate of infection decreases and rises again significantly, a new wave is determined. And the COVID-19 cases are rising again all over the world; hence the third wave is detected.
Third-wave is risky for the children
During the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the youths were the most affected. Experts fear the third wave could be risky for children and teenagers. The Head of the Department of Wadia Hospital of Children in Mumbai, Dr. Sudha Rao, expressed her views on why the third wave of corona could be dangerous for children. She said experts around the world fear the third wave of the Coronavirua would infect more children. The first wave affected 1-2% of children, the second wave raised the contraction level to 4-6% percent, and the third wave is expected to affect about 12-15% of children. However, it will take more time to be sure about this estimate.
There are also plausible reasons why children and teenagers are at higher risk in the third wave. The most common and obvious reason is that people under the age of 18 are not being vaccinated. If the body is infected with corona and antibodies are made, then there is no need for vaccination. But there is no information about the percentage of antibodies in children. So in terms of immunology, it can be said that children are weak. In addition, newer strains of the coronavirus can infect more children. As well as opening schools and colleges, children are more likely to be infected with the virus.
How to fight the third wave?
Since the research shows that the children are likely to get affected by the third wave, experts suggest taking the step for the children and teenagers. According to Dr. Sudha Rao, hospitals have covid care for adults, but from now on, we need to focus on pediatric care.
There is nothing to concern when older people are hospitalized with COVID. However, if someone is in an oxygen bed or ICU bed, it does not take 24 hours attendant. But if a child with COVID is in an oxygen bed or ICU, he/she will always want his parents by his/her side. Therefore, special steps are needed to be taken to ensure that parents are vaccinated. A huge percentage of people are yet to take vaccines, especially in third-world countries. Therefore, it is important to take equal care of children in pediatric care as well as the parents who have not been vaccinated. They also need to be monitored and have a physician in care.
It is important to train health workers from now on to manage children's medicine, treat children with moderate illness, protect them from serious illness, and identify serious conditions.
Apart from this, several other steps should be taken to counter the third wave.
Sustained surveillance and sharing of data
Sustained surveillance, as well as the share of the data, is highly necessary as these can help in decision making. The sharing of data includes systematic testing, compilation, collection, and analysis of laboratory and clinical data. In this context, WHO Chief Scientist Sowmya Swaminathan indicated that countries need to "strengthen its surveillance and closely monitor key Covid indicators to reduce the impact of a possible third wave."
The proper observation and monitoring of the viral epidemiology, as well as the genetic diversity, will help to determine the evolving nature of the pandemic. This eventually helps the authorities to make the right decision on time.
Prepare a robust healthcare infrastructure
While the first world countries' strong healthcare structures are destroyed by the coronavirus, the third world countries are facing the worst. There is no alternative to building a solid healthcare structure. Although there is not enough time to improve the healthcare infrastructure in third-world countries, they can take some steps. They can work on increasing the COVID care centers with beds, ICUs, prompt accessibility of the medication, and increase the oxygen supply.
Post-COVID care rehabilitation
Many COVID-19 recovered patients face long-term residual effects both mentally and physically. The current healthcare structure in most of the countries doesn't offer any post-COVID care for the recovered individuals. And it is more needed for the third wave caused by the delta variant. So, there is a dire need to work on post-COVID care units and offer the service to these requirements comprehensively.
Last but not the least, a mass vaccination program is the only way to fight any upcoming variants as well as waves.