Second COVID wave in India might continue till May, says SBI report

It says scaling up vaccination is the only winning formula against the pandemic

COVID-19
According to the Health Ministry’s provisional report, more than 5 crore vaccine doses have already been given. | File Photo: PTI

A report prepared by SBI’s research team and authored by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, the bank’s chief economic adviser, says the entire duration of second COVID wave might continue up to 100 days counted from February 15. That would mean the cases would continue to hit new highs until May.

The daily COVID case count in India is currently over 50,000. Maharashtra alone accounts for most of the daily new cases. The report said India is better placed this time to control the pandemic with vaccinations being accelerated. It says increasing the speed of vaccination is the only winning formula against the pandemic. It notes that lockdowns have not resulted in controlling the spread of infection.

Also read: What if there’s another lockdown? RBI report say it’ll be ‘unbearable’

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“India is witnessing a second wave of infection beginning February 2021, with daily new cases rising again. Pan-India total cases in the second wave expected in the order of 25 lakh (based on trends in data till March 23). Considering the number of days from the current level of daily new cases to the peak level during the first wave, India might reach the peak in the second half of April,” the report said.

“Though global Covid-19 experience shows second wave much higher in intensity than the first wave, presence of vaccine makes the difference currently. Thus India will be able to manage the situation better,” the report said.

“Injection to infection ratio shows Israel, the UK and Chile are doing better than India. However, the pace of vaccination/hundred population in India is much higher,” it added.

Many states with higher elderly population ( above 60 years) including Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal have vaccinated less percentage of their elderly population and must increase their pace of inoculation, said the report.

Also read: Interval between Covishield vaccine doses extended to 8 weeks | Know why

The Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday (March 24) the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 52.1 million.

According to the ministry’s provisional report, 52,197,380 vaccine doses have been given. These include 7,956,925 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose and 5,047,927 HCWs who have taken the second dose, 8,433,875 frontline workers (FLWs) who have been given the first dose and 3,202,183 FLWs who have got the second dose.

Besides, 22,601,622 beneficiaries who are over 60 years old and 4,954,848 beneficiaries aged 45 years and above with co-morbidities have been administered the first dose.

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