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Waves in pandemic

Date: 21 May 2021 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management


Local administration and the government have started to improve their infrastructure in anticipation of a third Covid wave.



The Principal scientific advisor to the government had recently said that a third wave of the pandemic was inevitable and states must be prepared.



  • There is no exact definition of what a wave in a pandemic is. It is usually the rise and decline in the cases of infection over a period of time.

  • The growth and decline in cases is in shape of a wave, which has popularised the word to signal the trend.

  • Various viral infections are usually seasonal in nature. They emerge and decline after certain period of time. This trend is continuously observed across the globe.

  • Every region witnesses a surge, which is followed by a relative lull. Covid-19 in India has also seen two surges followed by a lull in between.

  • Smaller regions have their own peaks and decline. This means that different states have witnessed multiple growth and decline in cases until now.


Identifying a third wave

  • The indication of a third wave would be rise in cases of infection at the national level. It would be followed by a slow decline in infections.

  • Local surges occur periodically in isolated areas. They will not be considered a wave unless they push up the graph number at the national level.


Strength of third wave

  • It is still not clear whether the third wave will be stronger or weaker. But it is naturally assumed that subsequent waves will be weaker as more people develop immunity.

  • In the case of India it has reversed. The second wave has turned out to be stronger and also more fatal. The decline of cases during the last five months is still not understood.

  • Gene mutations in virus could be a game changer as it could further aggravate the infection rate in India. Vaccinations would not be beneficial in such a case.