What Have We Learnt From The Second Wave Of COVID-19 To Help Us Mitigate The Third Wave?

What Have We Learnt From The Second Wave Of COVID-19 To Help Us Mitigate The Third Wave?

At the Saluting The COVID Heroes Townhall, Dr Randeep Guleria, Dr VK Paul and Dr Sangita Reddy discussed the lessons learnt from the second wave of COVID-19 to avoid a third wave
It is the duty of each and every individual to follow COVID appropriate behaviour for their community and nation: ExpertsIt is the duty of each and every individual to follow COVID appropriate behaviour for their community and nation: Experts
  • We have learnt a lot over the last one and a half year: Dr Guleria
  • It's the duty of every individual to follow COVID norms: Dr VK Paul
  • Third wave is inevitable, vaccines can protect your life: Dr Sangita Reddy

New Delhi: “The last one and a half years has seen a lot of pain and suffering,” says Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS at the Banega Swasth India’s Saluting The COVID Heroes Townhall. At the exclusive show, Dr Guleria also noted that it has been a tough time for the healthcare workers. When Amitabh Bachchan asked Dr Guleria about his and the country’s learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that the biggest lesson learnt is how subsequent waves can be prevented.  

I think there is a lot of learning that we have had over the last one and a half year. Some of it’s of course for the medical community in terms of treating patients and how best to provide care. But the biggest lesson we have learnt is, I think between the first and the second wave, and that’s what will really help us to prevent subsequent waves. We learnt about what we can do right, which we didn’t do right in the past. One of course, is the importance of COVID-appropriate behaviour because no matter what be the variants that emerge, no matter what be the new mutants that we see, if we are able to maintain physical distance, wear a mask properly, wash our hands, and prevent crowd from forming and therefore not have super-spreading events, then we will not allow the virus to spread.

Dr Guleria also asserted on the importance of vaccination to stop the spread of COVID-19 further.

We need to come forward and get vaccinated, so that more the number that gets vaccinated, the less the chance of transmission, the less the chance of viral replication and the less the chance of mutant developing. This way we will actually be able to come out of this pandemic. We will be able to have a very minimal or delayed third wave.

Also Read: How Has COVID-19 Impacted Children? Experts Discuss At The Townhall

Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, a member of NITI Ayog and Union Government’s core team for COVID-19 pandemic response, also joined the Townhall where he told the Campaign Ambassador, Amitabh Bachchan that the biggest lesson learnt from the second wave of COVID-19 in India is that we can never lower our guard. Dr Paul said,

This virus is very smart, very mischievous; it comes in waves. Europe is experiencing now an early up-rise once again. We still have a long way to go and till the time we are protected hugely with vaccine coverage of a high order, we have to be even more vigilant, even beyond that there is a journey to be covered. So the biggest lesson of the two waves that India has experienced and more than that, the world has experienced is, do not lower the guard. It means individual behaviour above all.

Dr Paul at the show asserted on the importance of wearing a mask and following social distancing when stepping out of the house. He said that it is the duty of each and every individual to follow COVID appropriate behaviour for their community and nation. Dr Paul said,

If I wear the mask, I am protected and when I am protected, the virus doesn’t go through me to somebody else. It is my duty as an individual to myself but then it’s also my duty to do so for my family members, for my community, for my nation, for my society. That’s individual responsibility. Likewise, to maintain social distancing, to avoid crowd, to not create situations which spread the virus because virus love parties, virus love human beings, virus loves crowd.

Talking about the duties of authorities and government to avoid another deadly COVID surge, Dr Paul, at the Townhall, called for optimum testing, contact tracing, isolation of patients, isolation of positive cases, containment zones, so that we contain the virus in a locality, in a localised manner.

Do not allow this virus to go to other parts of your city or the village. Above all, be ready to look after patients when they become sick. Our facilities are ready, our ambulance system is ready. We have enough intensive care units and we have enough care that can be provided, human resources are available. But also we learned that there is a real place for home care. In the first wave and as well as the second wave, a large number of people can also be looked after at home, and then when we provide support to individuals in-home care through telemedicine, through reassuring words of the doctors on the telephone, it can also save lives. It assures people and also assures that families remain in touch with their family members who are positive, protect themselves and also make sure that the care is provided, Dr Paul added.

Also Read: Amitabh Bachchan Salutes The COVID Heroes And Says Vaccine Hesitancy Must End

Also at the Townhall, Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals, who joined the show alongside Dr VK Paul, said that despite all the calculations and speculations about the third wave of COVID-19, the fact remains that it is inevitable yet mitigable.

And this ability to mitigate, not just the numbers but the impact, depends on a series of things – the number of people we have vaccinated; our ability to communicate the whole aspect and the importance of this covid appropriate behaviour or the fact that the virus loves crowd like Dr Paul was saying. I think also we need to continue to look at the science behind the nature of the virus. Are there more genetic mutations? What are the variants? How do we have to be more careful about it? What do we do about individuals who have been vaccinated but now their immunity is coming down once again? Do you need a booster shot? What type of shot? And as the immunity of those who have been infected already, has that come down? So all these factors are complex but need to be continuously monitored and a combination of these scenarios is really what will prepare us for the third wave, in addition to of course the most important thing which is medical readiness.

The people, the infrastructure, the medicines, the oxygen these are lessons we have learnt and the lessons that we must translate into infrastructure and readiness on the ground so that not a single life is lost, Dr Reddy added. She also suggested how can the country tackle the issue of vaccine hesitancy,

We have to break the hesitancy and everybody has an episodic story, my cousin took two doses and still got COVID but I will say that even if people get COVID after taking two doses, the impact of the virus is much less. In a study conducted at Apollo hospitals, on our own employees of the Apollo family, we found that of the 95 per cent of people who got COVID despite two vaccinations, we, thankfully, had nobody who died or even had to go to the ICU. So, we need to spread the message that vaccine keeps one safe from the bad effects of the virus. We cannot say that you will not get COVID after taking the vaccine because that’s where credibility goes down. We must be very factual and the fact is that vaccines can protect your life.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,89,21,889 and 42,35,871 have died; 6,44,02,340 are active cases and 13,02,83,678 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 3:55 am.


3,17,26,507 30,549Cases
3,08,96,354 38,887Recovered
4,25,195 422Deaths
In India, there are 3,17,26,507 confirmed cases including 4,25,195 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,04,958 and 3,08,96,354 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

63,15,063 4,869

78,700 3,650

61,03,325 8,429

1,33,038 90


34,25,473 13,984

1,65,834 2,057

32,42,684 15,923

16,955 118


29,08,284 1,285

24,045 123

28,47,627 1,383

36,612 25

Tamil Nadu

25,63,544 1,957

20,385 139

25,09,029 2,068

34,130 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,70,008 1,546

20,582 437

19,36,016 1,968

13,410 15

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,500 24

646 18

16,85,091 42


West Bengal

15,29,295 575

10,803 171

15,00,331 734

18,161 12


14,36,401 51

538 44

14,10,809 95



10,02,458 236

1,918 1

9,87,012 234

13,528 3


9,79,737 1,032

13,318 820

9,60,386 1,785

6,033 67


9,53,704 16

241 9

9,44,509 25



8,24,922 22

251 3

8,14,595 25


Madhya Pradesh

7,91,862 17

132 7

7,81,217 10



7,69,956 14

703 12

7,59,614 25

9,639 1


7,24,917 37

401 34

7,14,872 71



6,45,997 591

8,819 54

6,33,371 643

3,807 2


5,99,162 32

473 31

5,82,395 63



5,68,257 1,275

12,429 213

5,50,534 1,469

5,294 19


3,47,223 23

239 15

3,41,855 38



3,42,198 37

574 35

3,34,261 71

7,363 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,725 118

1,254 43

3,16,090 73

4,381 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,369 208

1,304 75

2,01,543 132

3,522 1


1,71,295 90

1,027 16

1,67,118 72

3,150 2


1,21,059 54

944 38

1,18,320 92



99,872 541

9,814 591

88,480 1,120

1,578 12


79,026 304

3,104 12

75,167 292



65,939 350

5,843 200

58,987 537

1,109 13


61,960 6

33 3

61,116 3


Arunachal Pradesh

48,565 305

3,508 167

44,823 469

234 3


40,111 748

12,316 127

27,642 618

153 3


28,004 59

1,300 44

26,130 99

574 4


26,880 126

3,323 131

23,211 256

346 1


20,345 5

57 0

20,081 5


Dadra And Nagar Haveli


15 9

10,631 9



10,207 12

79 4

10,078 8


Andaman And Nicobar Islands


6 1

7,404 1


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