Apollo Medicine

: 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71--72

The havoc caused by the second wave of COVID-19 in India

Raju Vaishya 
 Department of Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Raju Vaishya
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi

How to cite this article:
Vaishya R. The havoc caused by the second wave of COVID-19 in India.Apollo Med 2021;18:71-72

How to cite this URL:
Vaishya R. The havoc caused by the second wave of COVID-19 in India. Apollo Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jun 21 ];18:71-72
Available from: https://www.apollomedicine.org/text.asp?2021/18/2/71/317186

Full Text

India has recently witnessed the mammoth upsurge of the second COVID-19 wave which has swept across the country, around 8 months after the first wave. It started around mid-March 2021 and seems to have reached its peak in May 2021. The earlier first wave, of it, had reached its peak in mid-September 2020. The second wave is behaving like a “Tsunami” as it has shattered all the previous records for the country and of the globe. The current peak is more than double the previous one and the infection is spreading much faster than ever before, making the first wave looking like a “ripple in the bath.”[1] At the peak of the second wave, India has witnessed more than 400,000 daily new cases and more than 4000 daily deaths [Table 1].[2],[3] The positive rates have crossed beyond 30% in many States. We now have two India-made COVID-19 vaccines available since January 15, 2021. About 10% of the total population has received a single dose of it and around only 2% have received both doses of the vaccine. It would require a mammoth effort to fulfill the goal of immunizing the majority population of India, considering the huge population.{Table 1}

There are several obvious reasons for the massive upsurge in the second COVID wave. The biggest reason is the lowering of the guard by the public. Easing restrictions by the government and super-spreader events such as election rallies, religious festivals, maha kumbh mela, and weddings have compounded the problem of community spread.[4],[5],[6]

In the second wave, COVID-19 has behaved differently than the first wave, as it has evolved and spread much faster than the first wave and has resulted in an exponential rise in the number of new cases and deaths. There are newer clinical manifestations, more cluster infections (in the family and workplace), and involvement of the younger population (including children).[5] There has also been a severe impact of the second wave on the health-care workers morale, as they had just about recovered from the onslaught on the first peak, when this “tsunami” struck.

There are several lessons from the second wave. Our health-care infrastructure needs to be augmented as do essential supplies. Testing needs to scale up, as does genome sequencing to detect viral mutants/variants. India must now pursue a two-pronged strategy; first, the vaccination campaign must be implemented with much greater speed, and Second, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission must be reduced as much as possible (by enforcing strict public health measures) while the vaccine is rolled out.[6] We believe that the rapid mass vaccination of the majority population seems to be the only real hope in achieving the desired “herd immunity” and ending this devastating pandemic.

I wish you all to stay safe and healthy. We shall conquer this pandemic together!


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2WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard. Available from: https://covid19.who.int/table. [Last accessed on 2021 May 09].
3Coronovarius disease Statistics. Available from: https://www.google.com/search?q=coronorvirsu+stats&rlz=1C1OWKM_enIN869IN869&oq=corono&aqs=chrome.0.69i59l2j69i57j35i39j0i10i131i433l3j0i10j0i10i131i433j0.3785j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8. [Last accessed on 2021 May 09].
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5Jain VK, Iyengar KP, Vaishya R. Differences between First wave and Second wave of COVID-19 in India. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2021: S1871-402100147-8. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2021.05.009. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33992554; PMCID: PMC8106236].
6India's COVID-19 emergency. Lancet (Editorial) 2021;39:1683.