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Probability of 4th COVID-19 wave extremely low but need to be vigilant, cautions Virologist Jacob John

By Shalini Bhardwaj | Updated: Mar 19, 2022 20:02 IST

New Delhi [India], March 19 (ANI): Eminent Virologist and Former Professor, Christian Medical College (CMC )Vellore Dr T Jacob John on Saturday said that the chances of the fourth COVID-19 wave are low, however, he stressed the need to remain vigilant.
Talking to ANI in an exclusive interview, Dr John said, "the chances of the fourth COVID-19 wave is low but nobody can predict it will not happen."
He added, "there is no scientific, epidemiological reason to predict a fourth COVID-19 wave but nobody can predict that it will not happen. I can say the probability is extremely low."
He further stressed that it is important to be vigilant and cautious. There is a need to keep looking at the viruses and their genetic sequences and see if there are any new variants appearing and if any variants are overtaking Omicron locally in more places, he added.
Dr John also said that he doesn't believe in predicting waves based on mathematical modelling.
"I do not understand how fear needs to be inculcated in human beings and for what purposes. So I don't believe in predicting a wave based on mathematical modelling. I told you about the problems of mathematical modelling that computers had with type two polio vaccines. Mathematical modelling is good if all the elements that go into the mathematical modelling are good. So, there is no need to be fearful of the wave."
He said that had he been asked the question in 2020 on whether the virus behaves differently, then he would have replied in the negative. However, he said that now in the year 2022, there is a lot of information about this virus, on how it behaves and how variants are created, and so on. "There is enough information to be confident about predicting the future, he stated.
"People don't understand one thing Omicron was totally unpredictable. It is not from Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Kappa, Omicron has an unknown pathway of location. I'm saying this because if a similar unknown pathway or mutation resulted in a variant will that be more transmissible? I doubt. So, I am not at all agreeing with the prediction of the fourth wave, but I will not be categorically saying that there cannot be a fourth that is for us to wait and see," he added.
As China reported a spike in COVID-19 cases he said, "we need not worry about what's happening there because the contexts are extremely different. China had a zero COVID policy. They aggressively tested, quarantined and kept the curve suppressed for a long time and so now Omicron is unstoppable, catches in Hong Kong, New Zealand, China, wherever the previous in Taiwan everywhere." (ANI)