Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday warned that the prevailing second COVID-19 wave could be worse than the first. “Second waves of pandemics have been harsher,” DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said in a statement.
“We have witnessed in the past how second wave of 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was deadlier than the first one. The first wave occurred in the spring which was relatively mild. A far deadlier second wave erupted in the fall months which infected 500 million and killed 50 million people globally,” he said adding, “COVID-19 is following the same pattern”.
Dr Nisar said that the second waves of coronavirus in United States and Europe were “uniformly worse than the first.”
Back home in Kashmir, the cases are rising and hospitalizations too, said the DAK president.
“And if countermeasures are not put in place, we could end up having a situation which could be worse than what we saw last year,” he said.
The DAK President said this is because vast majority of people in the valley are still susceptible to the virus and the virus will go where it is given room to run, and will find people who are vulnerable to infection.
He further said people had thrown caution to the wind as they don’t wear masks and don’t care for social distancing.
“This behavior would facilitate transmission of the virus that could reignite an outbreak,” said Dr Nisar. Another factor that could make the new wave worse is the emergence of new variants, Dr Nisar said.
He said that some of the variants can make the virus more infectious, deadly, or even resistant to vaccines and treatment.
The DAK President said that we should not take much comfort from the fact that so far in the second wave, the incidents of severe cases and deaths are considerably lower than the first spike.
“The second wave is infecting young people in larger proportion than the first one. And, after a couple of weeks, many of them are likely to infect the elder members of their family and when that happens, serious illnesses and deaths will go up,” said Dr Nisar.