India may report 6 crore COVID cases by March 2021 in worst-case scenario: IISc

The IISc model is said to be based on the country’s COVID-19 data and trends observed between March 23 and June 18 this year

Photo: PTI

According to the Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc) estimation of COVID-19 cases in India, in a better case scenario for the country, India’s total number of cases could be around 37.4 lakh at the end of March 2021, and in the worst-case scenario, could become as high as 6.18 crore at the end of March 2021.

The IISc model “is a paradigm shift in mathematical modeling of infectious diseases” and is said to be based on the country’s COVID-19 data and trends observed between March 23 and June 18 this year.

This model is expected to help “tune the parameters of the data-driven model”.

However, sources told Hindustan Times that these projections are likely to change after considering the current situation with COVID-19 in India.


In the worse-scenario projection by the IISc, the model estimated no COVID-19 peak in India until the end of March 2021. However, if the better scenario is taken into account, India’s COVID-19 peak could come by the second week of September or by October.

The model stressed on the importance of enforcing a one or two-day lockdown per week to reduce the spike in infections.

According to Hindustan Times, the study said, “One or two day lockdown per week (e.g., Sunday, Sunday & Wednesday etc) with complete compliance along with adequate social distancing during other days is effective to reduce the spread.”

The study also mentioned the improvement in India’s recovery rate from the virus infection and emphasised on the importance of timely quarantine and appropriate medical care.

“Among all measures, contact tracing, quarantine and social distancing are key to contain the spread in the absence of vaccine,” it noted.

India’s COVID-19 tally is now heading towards the 10 lakh-mark, with the current number at 9.68 lakh, and over 24,000 deaths. The number of recovered patients currently stands at 6 lakh.