Srinagar, April 09: What should be a cause of concern, experts have predicted second COVID-19 wave to peak between April 15 and worse than last year in India.
Scientists, including Prof. Manindra Agrawal from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, applied the model to predict the trajectory of the current surge in infections and found that the number of daily new infections was likely to peak in mid-April for this ongoing pandemic wave.
Prof. Agrawal in the IIT’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, was involved with the national ‘super model’ initiative, and said that the peak is expected to see between 80,000-90,000 new infections per day.
“We will cross the peak (during April 15-20) and then there will be very a sharp drop over the next 15-20 days,” said Agrawal.
They have predicted after using a mathematical model that the ongoing second-wave of COVID-19 pandemic across the country may see a steep decline by the end of May.
During the first wave of Covid-19 infections across India, the mathematical approach, named ‘SUTRA’, predicted that the initial surge of infections in August would peak by September and lower in February 2021.
The national ‘super model’ had in October last year predicted the pandemic can be controlled by early 2021 with “minimal active symptomatic infections” in February.
“Second waves of pandemics have been harsher,” DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
“We have witnessed in the past how second wave of 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was deadlier than the first one. The first wave occurred in the spring which was relatively mild. A far deadlier second wave erupted in the fall months which infected 500 million and killed 50 million people globally.”
“Covid-19 is following the same suit,” DAK President said.
“The second waves of coronavirus in United States and Europe were uniformly worse than the first.”
“Kashmir is currently under the grip of a second wave and the cases are rising and hospitalizations too,” he said.
“And if countermeasures are not put in place, we could end up having a situation which could be worse than what we saw last year.”
“This is because vast majority of people in the valley are still susceptible to the virus and the virus will go where it is given room to run, and will find people who are vulnerable to infection,” Dr Nisar said.
“People have got pandemic fatigue. They are tired of restrictions, wearing masks, being away from family and friends, and increasingly fed up with the new normal routines.”
“They have thrown caution to the wind,” he said.
“Many people don’t wear masks and don’t care for social distancing.”
“This behavior would facilitate transmission of the virus that could reignite an outbreak,” said Dr Nisar.
“Another factor that could make the new wave worse is the emergence of new variants.”
“Some of the variants can make the virus more infectious, deadly, or even resistant to vaccines and treatment,” he said.
“We should not take much comfort from the fact that so far in the second wave, the incidents of severe cases and deaths are considerably lower than the first spike. The second wave is infecting young people in larger proportion than the first one. And, after a couple of weeks, many of them are likely to infect the elder members of their family and when that happens, serious illnesses and deaths will go up,” said Dr Nisar. With inputs from agencies