NEW DELHI – India’s second wave of Covid-19 is expected to decline by July this year. A third wave of the pandemic is expected in about six to eight months. These are the fairly optimistic projections made by the three-member panel of scientists set up by the Department of Science and Technology under the Science Ministry of the Government of India.
Using the SUTRA (Susceptible, Undetected, Tested (positive) and Removed Approach) model, the scientists predicted that the end of May will see about 1.5 lakh cases per day and the end of June will witness 20,000 cases on a daily basis.
“States like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Haryana besides Delhi and Goa have already seen their peak,” said Professor Manindra Agarwal from IIT Kanpur, a member of the panel.
The model suggests that Tamil Nadu will see its peak between May 29 and 31 while Puducherry will witness its peak on May 19-20.
States in east and northeast India are yet to see their peaks. Assam may peak by May 20-21. Meghalaya could peak on May 30 while Tripura is likely to peak by May 26-27.
In the north, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab are witnessing a surge in cases at present. Himachal Pradesh may see a peak in cases by May 24 and Punjab by May 22.
According to the model, a third wave is expected in six to eight months. The impact of the same can be cushioned.
“It will be localised and many people will not be affected because they will enjoy immunity thanks to vaccination,” Professor Agarwal said. He added that there will not be a third wave till October 2021 at least.
Mathematical models such as the SUTRA model help to predict the intensity of pandemics and, hence, influence policy decisions. The SUTRA model came into existence last year to study the trajectory of Covid.
This National Covid-19 Supermodel Committee that uses the model, meanwhile, was formed by the government to make projections about the spread of Covid-19 in India.
The committee, however, accepted that it was unable to predict the nature of the second wave in the country.
“We were very optimistic when we said the second wave will see 1.5 lakh cases daily. We were wrong,” Professor Vidyasagar, from IIT Hyderabad, told India Today.