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One-third of Indians think Covid’s fourth wave is here

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With Covid-19 cases in India rising again, particularly in the Delhi-NCR, a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles reports that one in three Indians today believes that the fourth wave has already hit the country. At a national level, India has been recording under 3,000 daily cases, though 1,500 of these are in the Delhi and NCR with a positivity rate ranging between 4% and 8%.

The survey, which was based on responses from 26,000 Indian citizens, asked people about when they expect the fourth wave to hit, in response to which as many as 34% stated that the wave is already here. Interestingly, 29% are confident that another wave will not occur in India in 2022 at all. There are various other responses predicting that the wave could occur at some point later in this year.

As far as faith in the country’s health infrastructure is concerned, 55% are confident that the experts will be able to effectively manage a fourth wave when it occurs. Considering that there are about five-seven variants of the virus in circulation around the world, about 29% of 12,609 respondents said they were ‘somewhat confident’ while 4% said they were not confident at all about the authorities’ abilities to handle the next wave. The report observes that this is largely based on the experience of the country’s third Covid wave, which was far less severe than the second Delta-led one, which tested India’s healthcare infrastructure.

Citing the rise in cases over the past few weeks across the country, 83% of 12,064 respondents agreed that the Union health ministry should mandate that all districts report daily Covid cases. The report notes that during the second and third waves, most districts reported daily cases and deaths, though that practice has been discontinued since February this year.

Overall, the survey findings are based on responses from citizens across 341 districts in the country. Of these, 41% are from metros and tier-I regions, 33% are from tier-II districts, and the rest from tier-III and IV markets and rural regions. Currently across the country, most states have lifted Covid curbs and mask mandates, though some like Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have now reinstated them in response to the increase in cases.

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