Tourism, pilgrimage can wait; don’t let the guard down: IMA warns of third COVID wave

Warning that a third wave was just around the corner, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Monday advised the Central and state governments to not let the guard down on the Covid front.

The top doctors’ body expressed shock over complacency shown by authorities and the public in various parts of India at this crucial juncture.


India, IMA said, had only recently walked out of the disastrous second wave, thanks to considerable efforts of the modern medical fraternity and political leadership.

“With the global evidence available and the history of any pandemics, the third wave is inevitable and imminent…However, it is painful to note…in many parts of the country both the government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols. Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour are all needed but 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,” IMA said in a statement on Monday.

The consequences of treating a Covid patient and its impact on the economy will be much better than the economic loss suffered by avoiding such mass gatherings, it said.

Going by the experience of the past year-and-a-half, the impact of the third wave can be mitigated by ensuring universal vaccination and following Covid-appropriate behaviour, according to IMA.

In a separate video message reiterating the IMA’s views on the Covid preparedness across the country, the doctors’ body’s President Dr Johnrose Austin Jayalal appealed to all state governments to translate the “vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi” of a unified battle against the pandemic and control all mass gatherings.

“At this crucial juncture, in the next two-to-three months…let us not take any chances,” he said.

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