India is likely to see a rise in Covid-19 infections building into a new — though smaller — virus wave that may peak in October, according to a mathematical model by researchers who accurately predicted the tapering of a brutal surge of cases earlier this year.
Researchers led by Mathukumalli Vidyasagar and Manindra Agrawal at the Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad and Kanpur in their reports said that the surge in Covid-19 cases will push the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which may peak in October.
Vidyasagar said that states with high Covid-19 cases, such as Kerala and Maharashtra, could “skew the picture.”
The next wave is likely to be far smaller than the second wave that peaked at a record 400,000-plus daily cases on May 7 and declined sharply thereafter. But the forecast still underscores the need for India to accelerate its vaccination campaign, deploy surveillance methods to catch emerging hotspots and stay vigilant through genome sequencing given the potential for new variants to emerge.
India reported 41,831 Covid-19 cases and 541 deaths on Sunday even as the Centre cautioned 10 states, including Kerala, Maharashtra and northeastern regions, amid the rising infections and asked them to take steps to arrest the spread of the coronavirus.
Experts have also warned that the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which spreads as easily as chickenpox and can be passed on by vaccinated people, can fuel the surge. According to data from the Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium, nearly 8 of every 10 Covid-19 cases in May, June and July were caused by the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
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