Indian bank's report says 3rd COVID-19 wave could be as severe as 2nd
The third wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in India could be as severe as the second wave and it could last for an average duration of 98 days, the latest report released by the State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest state-owned bank, said.
The report "Ecowrap", however, said the impact can be minimized by increasing vaccinations and the improvement of health infrastructure.
The five-page report released on Tuesday pointed out that the average duration of the third wave for developed countries was 98 days as against 108 days in the second wave.
"International experiences suggest that the intensity of the third wave is as severe as the second wave's. However, it is also observed that the decline in serious case rate (patients that require oxygen, ICU beds, etc.) will lead to less number of deaths. We have created one scenario for the third wave and find out that if serious case decline from 20 percent to five percent (due to better health infrastructure and rigorous vaccination) then the number of deaths will reduce to less than 40,000 as compared to current deaths of more that 0.17 million," the report said.
It also warned that children could be the next vulnerable group and that vaccination should be the key priority, especially for children.
"With around 150-170 million children in the 12-18 age bracket, India should go for an advanced procurement strategy like that adopted by developed nations to inoculate this age group," the report said.
Meanwhile, the SBI slashed the gross domestic product growth estimates for (financial year) 2022 to 7.9 percent, from the earlier projection of 10.4 percent. But it has not taken into account the possibility of a third wave in its analysis.
At present India continues to record over 100,000 new cases each day.
According to the federal health ministry update on Wednesday morning, the country recorded 132,788 new COVID-19 cases and related 3,207 deaths during the past 24 hours.