The highly-anticipated third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may break out in India in August and peak in October, bringing around 1 lakh infections a day in the best-case scenario and 1.5 lakh infections in the worst-case scenario, researchers have predicted.
The third wave may not be as severe as the second wave which saw India reporting above 4 lakh cases daily in April-May this year, but states having high COVID-19 cases like Kerala and Maharashtra, could “skew the picture,” researchers at IIT-Hyderabad and Kanpur led by Mathukumalli Vidyasagar and Manindra Agarwal respectively, told Bloomberg.
The prediction is based on a mathematical model. The same research group had earlier predicted a fall in the COVID-19 infections following the devastating surge during the peak of the second wave.
Vidyasagar in May had predicted that the cases will peak, and come to 20,000 infections per day by the end of June.
However, the prediction of his team in April that the second wave would peak by the third week was wrong. Clarifying the same on Twitter, the scientist had said that incorrect parameters were behind the projection as the “pandemic was changing rapidly, even wildly, until about a week ago”.
The current prediction comes at a time when India’s infection has seen a steady rise. While the country reported 41,831 new cases on Sunday, it had logged in 44, 420 new infections on Friday, the highest in three weeks. The rise is being attributed to the sudden spike in infections in states like Kerala, Karnataka and the northeast.
Experts, on the other hand, have cautioned people against the Delta variant of COVID-19, which can cause severe illness and spread as quickly as chickenpox.
Expressing concern over a possible outbreak of the third wave, Dr Randeep Guleria, chief of AIIMS, Delhi has suggested states with rising infections to take stringent containment measures including testing, tracing and treatment.