New Delhi: A scientist on a government panel tasked with modelling COVID-19 cases has said that the possible third wave of coronavirus could peak between October and November, raising concerns about the third wave’s impact on India. He stated that it is possible if COVID-appropriate behaviour is not followed, but that it is possible that half of the daily cases will be recorded during the second surge.
According to Manindra Agarwal, who is working with the Sutra Model — a mathematical projection of COVID-19’s trajectory — the coronavirus infection could spread faster during the third wave if ‘any new virulent variant’ of SARS-CoV-2 emerges.
Agarwal went on to say that the loss of immunity, the effects of vaccination, and the possibility of a more virulent variant were all taken into account this time, which was not the case when the second wave was modelled.
“We devised three scenarios. One is optimistic, assuming that life will return to normal by August and that no new mutants will emerge. Another option is an intermediate scenario in which we assume that vaccination is 20% less effective in addition to optimistic scenario assumptions. The final one is pessimistic and makes different assumptions than the intermediate one: a new 25% more infectious mutant spreads in August (it is not Delta plus, which is not more infectious than Delta variant), “According to Agarwal.
Over 1.5 lakh daily cases during third COVID-19 wave
According to Manindra Agarwal, the third wave of coronavirus could see an increase in daily COVID-19 cases in India ranging from 150,000 to 200,000. The figure, however, is less than half of what was recorded when the second wave peaked in May, resulting in hospital overcrowding and the loss of thousands of lives on a daily basis.
“If a new mutant emerges, the third wave may spread quickly, but it will be half the size of the second wave. People who were previously infected with a different variant are now infected with the Delta variant. As a result, this has been taken into account “said the scientist.
He also stated that as vaccination progresses, the likelihood of a third or fourth wave diminishes.
Less hospitalisation during third wave of COVID-19
Another panel member, M Vidyasagar, stated that the number of people admitted to hospitals is expected to be lower during the third wave of COVID-19. He cited the United Kingdom as an example, where over 60,000 cases were reported in January, with daily deaths reaching 1,200. During the fourth wave, however, the number of cases dropped to 21,000 with only 14 deaths.
“Vaccination played a significant role in reducing the number of cases that required hospitalisation in the United Kingdom. This was taken into account when developing the three scenarios “Vidyasagar explained.
It should be noted that the Department of Science and Technology established the panel in 2020 to forecast the increase in COVID-19 cases using mathematical models. Agarwal, an IIT-Kanpur scientist, and Vidyasagar, an IIT-Hyderabad scientist, are on the panel, as is Lt Gen Madhuri Kanitkar, Deputy Chief (Medical) of the Integrated Defence Staff.
(With inputs from PTI news agency)