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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 173-174

Preparedness to combat next wave of COVID-19 in India

Medical Surgical Nursing, College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Date of Submission19-Jul-2021
Date of Decision04-Aug-2021
Date of Acceptance05-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Aug-2021

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Nipin Kalal
All India Institute of Medical Sciences Jodhpur, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JME.JME_70_21

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How to cite this article:
Kalal N, Rana N. Preparedness to combat next wave of COVID-19 in India. J Med Evid 2021;2:173-4

How to cite this URL:
Kalal N, Rana N. Preparedness to combat next wave of COVID-19 in India. J Med Evid [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 15];2:173-4. Available from: http://www.journaljme.org/text.asp?2021/2/2/173/324973

  Introduction Top

Since January 2020, India has been combating with a unique corona virus and still it has not been predicted by anyone, when it will be over, and when we will be able to see everyone face without the mask. At present, COVID 19 causing a devastating and frightening wave, with an alarming increase in the cases, followed by deaths. During the second wave, India witnessed about 4 lakh infection cases each day, with a fatality rate of about 4000 per day. With the support of lockdown and efficient preventive measures, we were able to handle the initial wave of COVID 19 infection. As the days passed the second wave of COVID 19 has arrived with bedlam of life-threatening conditions. Many major concerns were identified in the second wave of COVID-19, such as lack of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and oxygen facilities, which are believed to be major reasons for the higher mortality rate. On the 11th of May, the World Health Organisation released its weekly report, which stated that India is experiencing a critical crisis due to increased transmissibility as a result of a lack of preventive measures such as social distancing and recent political and religious gatherings without protocols.[1]

Many countries have already experienced a significant second wave, and some had even a third, therefore India has no reason to believe that the situation would be any different in our country. Hence, we should develop a comprehensive preparedness and mitigation strategy, as well as a post-COVID response and recovery strategy, nationally.

It is a need to implements several key interventions to prevent critical situations and higher mortality rates during subsequent waves if it occurs.

First, equity and rapid access to vaccination efforts need to be highly ramped up to achieve the government's ambitious target. The third wave of coronavirus in India is said to be 'inevitable' and according to a recent study by IIT Kanpur, it is set to strike by October 2021.[2] Government must vaccinate as many people as possible before the third wave arrives. It would be necessary to start inoculation for <18 years of age to protect them against the deadly virus.

Second, the establishment of ICU beds at primary health care and community health centre levels and oxygen availability will be the need of the hour, as many patients in the previous wave had struggled for the hospital beds. Therefore, the number of beds must be increased so that primary treatment could be given to avoid delays in therapies. According to the Supreme Court, India needs to build an oxygen buffer store to counteract the third wave of COVID-19.[3] The number of oxygen plants must be increased to ensure enough supply and stock, which must be decentralised throughout the country. In the third wave, special consideration should be given to the children as they have not been vaccinated yet in India. Shashikala Jolle, Karnataka's women and child welfare minister said that in addition to paediatric COVID care centres being established in various districts, orphan rehabilitation centres would also be established.[4]

Third, the government should invest in health care as well as generate employment at the block level. The distribution of manpower and supplies to the health care centre should be as per the requirement with proper documentation and monitoring. The Government should ensure adequate supplies of oxygen and beds and keep a check on the unanticipated medicine shortage that many states had experienced. Government should bring in retired doctors and healthcare workers and also deploy the Unani and Ayurveda professionals after a short training in critical and supportive care so it will help to overcome the staff shortage and increase force task.

Fourth, intervention would be regarding the transparent national price capping; all necessary health services, such as ambulances, oxygen, necessary drugs and hospital care, require a transparent national pricing policy. Treatment expenditure of COVID-19 patients should be covered by the state government health insurance scheme so that it can help to reduce the financial burden on concerned the families as it has been done in some states.[5]

Fifth, strengthening of information education communication, all COVID-related information should be disseminated via an authenticated website and appropriate method. No misleading information should be reported, and if anyone is detected generating such information, strict action should be taken. It will assist in raising public awareness and reduce fear.

Sixth would be the prevention of black-marketing of medicine and resources by law, government should provide an adequate number of beds, oxygen and essential medicines to each state and maintain surveillance, do tracking of essential elements which will prevent black-marketing. As per the distribution rules, companies licensed to manufacture and market the products are supposed to supply them only to hospitals, and not to chemists.

Seventh, an intervention must be a support scheme and policy for the families of frontline warriors. According to the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, if a health care worker dies as a result of COVID-19-related duty, the claimant of the covered individual will be compensated with 50 lakhs rupees.

Eight, focused on telehealth and jugad outpatient department (OPD) services, due to shutdowns of routine OPDs services many patients were unable to avail regularly and follow-up. Telehealth services should be available regularly, with emergency treatments receiving precedence. It should ensure that chronically ill patients' normal services are not jeopardised.

Dr. KK Aggarwal, a Padma Shree Awardee, spoke about jugad OPD and advised that all patients with alike signs and symptoms call together so that required therapy can be delivered at the same time. By doing so, a consultant can save time by consulting numerous patients at once.

Ninth, immediate treatment of COVID-19 complications, many patients are being admitted to hospitals as a result of a complication of COVID-19 infection. Patients should be given special attention in terms of follow-up and reporting any health changes and be treated promptly.

Tenth, proper data collection and dissemination, data on vaccination, mortality and morbidity rates, and COVID testing should be accessible through a portal with accurate records. Increasing the reach and capacity of the existing surveillance system in terms of early detection of instances.

Finally, let us prepare ourselves individually, as this will not end with the third wave in India, so as soon as the cases begin to rise, the government must immediately plan to impose lockdowns, restrict movement and make efficient use of the workforce. It should ensure that everyone should wear proper masks and avoids indoor gatherings, and official messages should forcefully reinforce these ideas. During lockdown, people should practice yoga which is essential for strengthening the respiratory system, amendment of stress and anxiety, as well as boost the general immunity of the body.[6]

India faced so many challenges in the previous two waves. The central and state governments need to join hands to act in urgency and solidarity with each other and address the greatest humanitarian crises facing the country.

This editorial will help the readers to understand the future direction that country should prepare to combat the third wave of COVID-19.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

who.int [Interner]. Weekly Epidemiological Update on Covid-19; 2021. Available from: https://www.who.int. [Last accessed on 2021 May 11].  Back to cited text no. 1
Rathore A, Bashir A. Supply vs Demand of Vaccines: Is India Ready for 3rd COVID Wave? The Quint; 2021. Available from: https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/is-india-ready-for-covid-third. [Last accessed on 2021 Jun 23].  Back to cited text no. 2
Prepare for COVID Third Wave, Need Buffer Oxygen Stock Pan-India: SC to Centre. Mint. 2021 May 06; Sect. A: 1 (col. 2).  Back to cited text no. 3
Tandon T. Third wave of Covid 19 pandemic: When will it hit and how is India preparing against Coronavirus. Josh Jagran 2021. Available from: https://www.jagranjosh.com/general- knowledge/when-will-third-wave-of-covid-19-pandemic-hit-india-all-you-need-to-know-about- indias-strategy-1621600313-1. [Last accessed on 2021 May 23].  Back to cited text no. 4
FE Bureau. Tamil Nadu Govt to Bear COVID Treatment Expenses of Public in Private Hospitals. The Financial Express; 2021. Available from: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/health/tn-govt-to-bear-covid-treatment-expenses-of-public-in-private-hospitals/2247980/. [Last accessed on 2021 May 15].  Back to cited text no. 5
Sharma K, Anand A, Kumar R. The role of yoga in working from home during the COVID-19 global lockdown. Work 2020;66:731-7.  Back to cited text no. 6

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