Covid-19 third wave: IIT-Kanpur professor says 8 lakh cases in a day expected; Delhi-Mumbai to witness peak by this date — check details

Agarwal who along with other researchers runs SUTRA computer model to track Covid-19 progression in India, said that while upcoming polls do contribute to the rising cases, they are just one factor behind the case count.

The all-India curve has just started to rise and will take another month to come down. (IE Image/Partha Paul)

Covid-19 third wave: India entered the new year with the third Covid-19 wave on its toe, driven this time by the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. With most of the metropolitan cities experiencing an exponential surge in cases, it is an indicator that the country is already in the early throes of a third wave. But on the brighter side, experts predict that the peak of the ongoing wave will come early, hopefully by early next month and even earlier in Delhi-Mumbai after which there will be consistent fall in cases.

Based on current trends and data, IIT-Kanpur professor and mathematician Manindra Agrawal predicted that India might witness up to 8 lakh cases a day — twice that of the Covid-19 Delta variant driven second wave. The all-India curve has just started to rise and will take another month to come down. Hopefully, by March, the third wave of the pandemic will be more or less over, his preliminary projections say.

Agarwal who along with other researchers runs SUTRA computer model to track Covid-19 progression in India, said that while upcoming polls do contribute to the rising cases, they are just one factor behind the case count. Even if the election is taken out of the equation, the overall equation does not change much, he said based on analysis over elections held last year ahead of the second wave. His remarks come in the backdrop of the Election Commission announcing poll dates in five states and freezing physical rallies, roadshows by political parties.

Agarwal further said that based on five parameters that determined how fast the pandemic would spread if poll-bound and non-poll bound states could be out in separate groups, then it was inferred that elections did not play a significant role in rapid spread of Covid. Agarwal intends to publish the findings of his study sometime.

On the current surge he said Mumbai and Delhi are expected to peak by mid-January. Kolkata too, although uncertain might peak in around the same time. For the country as a whole, the peak would come sometime in February.

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