3rd Covid wave in India likely to peak by February 3, projects IIT-Kanpur study

Updated on Jan 04, 2022 07:45 PM IST

According to the forecast, the third wave of the pandemic will peak on February 3, 2022. Thursday. The rise in the cases will start around December 15, 2021, it said. India has been reporting around 7,000 Covid cases in the past few days, which is not yet an indication of a fresh wave, the health ministry said on Friday.

People visit a crowded market on Christmas eve amid concerns over Omicron-driven third wave, in Ranchi on Friday.(PTI)
People visit a crowded market on Christmas eve amid concerns over Omicron-driven third wave, in Ranchi on Friday.(PTI)
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

The third wave of Coronavirus pandemic in India may peak by February 3, 2021, a modelling study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur has projected. The paper is yet to be peer-reviewed and is based on the assumption that India will follow the trends which have been seen in other countries, PTI reported.

According to the forecast, the third wave of the pandemic will peak on February 3, 2022. Thursday. The rise in the cases will start around December 15, 2021, it said. India has been reporting around 7,000 Covid cases in the past few days, which is not yet an indication of a fresh wave, the health ministry said on Friday. Compared to Europe and African countries, cases in Asia are on the decline, the health ministry said. However, it notes that the world is witnessing the 4th surge of the pandemic as over 9 lakh cases were recorded on December 23 worldwide.

The authors of the study gave a disclaimer that they did not consider the vaccination data and followed the trends of other countries and the data of the first two waves in India.

"In many countries like the US, UK, Germany, Russia, the majority of the people have been vaccinated but still they are currently facing the third wave. So, India and other countries have to build up the defences and be prepared for another wave so that it is not as devastating as the earlier ones," the authors explained.

A statistical tool named the Gaussian Mixture model has been used for the projection.

The spread of Omicron, the latest variant of SARS-CoV-2, has triggered speculation of a third wave in the country. According to experts, the number of Covid cases may see a sudden spike which may lead to the third surge in India but it will not be as severe as the first and the second as a large percentage of the population is inoculated which will ensure protection from death due to Covid. Omicron, on the other hand, is causing mild illness, though it is spreading very fast. India has 358 cases of Omicron and the spread of the new variant took place in a span of 22 days. On December 2, the first cases of Omicron in India were detected in Bengaluru.

Earlier, the National Covid-19 Supermodel Committee projected that the third wave is expected to peak early next year. The members said the daily caseload is expected to increase once Omicron starts replacing Delta as the dominant variant. Dr Balram Bhargava, director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research on Friday said that stage has not come yet as Delta, not Omiron, is still the dominant variant.

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