The coronavirus pandemic is not going away anytime soon, it seems. The researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) have now predicted that the fourth wave that may set in around June 22 and last for four months till October 24.
The severity of this fourth wave will however be determined by the emergence of new variants, the vaccination status and booster doses, said media reports. According to the IIT-K researchers, who have published this statistical prediction on the preprint server MedRxiv on February 24, the curve will peak sometime around August 15 to 31 and decline thereafter.
It is reported that the researchers have been near accurate the last three times. There has been just a slight deviation of a few days in their analysis. The team, which belonged to the department of mathematics and statistics of IIT-K, had used a statistical model for their forecast.
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Their calculations envisaged that the fourth wave in India may arrive 936 days after the initial available date of the COVID-19 outbreak (January 30, 2020).
Hence, this fourth wave predicted by the researchers is expected to flag off from June 22, reach its peak on August 23 and end on October 24. The team used a methodology called “Bootstrap” to compute the confidence interval of the time point of the peak of a fourth wave. The method can also be used to forecast a fourth and other waves in other countries as well.
The researchers started working on the fourth wave prediction after they witnessed the accuracy of the third wave forecast, which had deployed a combination of Gaussian distribution based on the data on Zimbabwe.