Third wave in India to end in April, claim IISc-ISI scientists

The third wave of COVID-19 will start to decline next month and by March 1, the curve will start to flatten, envisaged the scientists. However, during the peak India might see cases shoot up to eight lakh on a daily basis

Omicron 'Projections January-March 2022 IISc-ISI Model take into account the rising COVID-19 graph of India till January 10 and Omicron transmissibility rates in South Africa. Pic: PTI

As India is firmly in the grip of the third wave of the pandemic, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in their new projections have claimed that the current sharp spike in COVID-19 cases will abate across the country in February.

The third wave of COVID-19 will start to decline next month and by March 1, the curve will start to flatten, envisaged the scientists. And, by April this year, the third wave is expected to end in India.

This timelines may however slightly differ from state to state. The present curve will be flattened by March or April, but during the peak India might just see cases shoot up to eight lakh on a daily basis.

The latest projections take into account the rising COVID-19 graph of India till January 10 and Omicron transmissibility rates in South Africa. Moreover, the Omicron ‘Projections January-March 2022 IISc-ISI Model’ by Professor Siva Athreya, Professor Rajesh Sundaresan and the team from the Centre for Networked Intelligence at IISc-ISI in Bengaluru worked on three scenarios – with a 100 per cent susceptible population, a 60 per cent susceptible population and a 30 per cent susceptible population.

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If 100 per cent of the population is susceptible to the virus, India’s hospital requirement could go beyond 4 lakh per day. This is, of course, in the worst-case scenario. If we consider that 60 per cent of the population is susceptible to the virus, there will be a demand for 3 lakh hospital beds per day.

Maharashtra could be the worst-hit, likely to experience over 175,000 daily cases at its peak (at 100 percent susceptibility). According to the model, Kerala and Tamil Nadu may witness one lakh and over 80,000 daily cases respectively, around the beginning of February.

There could also be a scramble for ICU beds, which can go beyond 20,000. This could be again in the worst-case scenario but as a matter of course the demand will range from 10,000 to 15,000.

Meanwhile, India added 1.95 lakh new COVID-19 infections taking the total tally of cases to 3.6 lakh. There have been 4,868 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday (January 12). The active cases too have shot up to 9,55,319, the highest in 211 days, while the death toll has risen to 4,84,655 with 442 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am on Wednesday stated.

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