Appealing to the state governments across the country to not let off their guards against COVID-19, the Indian Medical Association on Monday said the third wave of the pandemic is “inevitable and imminent.”

Making the universal vaccination reach the maximum possible population and strictly adopting Covid appropriate behaviours can mitigate the impact of the third wave, the IMA said in a release.

“India with the proactive leadership of Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and dedicated altruistic services of Modern Medical fraternity is literally just walking out of the disastrous second wave of COVID pandemic. With the global evidence available and the history of any pandemics, the third wave is inevitable and imminent,” the IMA said.

“But the past experience of the last one and half years of war with the virus and based on the emerging evidences it is obvious that with making the universal vaccination reach maximum possible population and strictly adopting to COVID appropriate behaviours we can face the third wave with confidence and mitigate its impact,” the release added.

However, IMA “painfully” noted that at a crucial time when everyone needs to work for the mitigation of the third wave, in many parts of the country “both government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following COVID protocols.”

IMA acknowledged that tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour all are needed but added that these activities can wait for a few more months.

“Opening up these rituals and enabling people without vaccination to go scot-free in these mass gatherings are potential super spreaders for the COVID third wave,” said the IMA adding that the consequences of treating a patient with COVID in hospital and its impacts on the economy will be “much better” than the economic loss the country suffer from avoiding such mass gathering.

“It is the duty and responsibility of everyone at this moment to strictly enforce the COVID appropriate behaviours for a minimum of three more months and ensure everyone near their house are getting vaccinated. IMA appeals to all state governments to translate the vision of Prime Minister Ji and control any mass gatherings in their state,” the release added further. (ANI)