A new variant alone cannot bring the third wave of coronavirus, which will start to become an endemic in the next six months, said Sujeet Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), according to an NDTV report. The expert said that even though the coronavirus pandemic has defied most predictions, it will reach an endemic status in the next six months.

Covid becoming an endemic would mean that infection will be more manageable and impart less strain on the health infrastructure, the report quoted Singh as saying. He added that if the mortality and morbidity is under control, then the disease can be managed.

Singh pointed out that Kerala is also emerging from the intense battle with Covid over the past few weeks.

Stressing on the importance of vaccination in fighting the virus, Singh said that people need to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour even after getting jabbed. He also cautioned that breakthrough infections – in which fully-vaccinated people get infected – will happen in around 20 to 30 percent of cases.

Singh explained that new variants cause breakthrough infections. “Scientists say within 70 to 100 days of vaccination the immunity level starts dropping,” he was quoted as saying.

He said that with 70 crore vaccinated people in the country, if the vaccine effectiveness is 70 percent, it means around 50 crore people have immunity against the virus. Since a single dose gives around 30 percent immunity, 30 crore people who have got one vaccine dose are also considered immunised, he said.

According Singh, the infections tend to reduce through vaccination and more exposure to the virus.

There is no new variant in India, he said. The C1.2 and Mu strains have not been found in the country yet. “Just a new variant cannot cause a third wave. The factor will be a mix of behaviour and antibodies,” said Singh. However, the NCDC chief expressed concern due to the upcoming festival season.

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