The predicted third wave of coronavirus may hit its peak between October and November if Covid-19 appropriate behaviour is not followed, but it may have half the numbers of daily cases which were recorded in the second surges of COVID-19, said a scientist of a government panel tasked with modelling COVID-19 cases.
However, the infection will spread faster during the third wave, if a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 emerges, said scientist Manindra Agrawal.
Scientist Manindra Agrawal is a part of the expert panel to predict the surge of coronavirus cases using mathematical models formed by the Department of Science and Technology in 2020. The panel also has M Vidyasagar, another scientist with IIT-Hyderabad, and Lt. Gen Madhuri Kanitkar, Deputy Chief (Medical) of Integrated Defence Staff, as members.
The panel came up with the Sutra Model last year to mathematically project the trajectory of Covid-19 in India. Although, they were criticised for not having predicted the ferocity of the second wave of the pandemic.
Explaining the panel’s predictions for the third wave, Agrawal said that loss of immunity, effects of vaccination and the possibility of a more virulent variant have been factored in this time. A detailed report is expected to be published soon.
In a series of tweets, Agrawal explained, “We have created three scenarios. One is optimistic, where we assume that life goes back to normal by August and there is no new mutant. Another is intermediate wherein we assume that vaccination is 20 per cent less effective in addition to optimistic scenario assumptions. The final one is pessimistic with assumptions different from the intermediate one: a new 25 per cent more infectious mutant spreads in August (it is not Delta plus, which is not more infectious than Delta variant).”
He also shared a graph that shows the second wave is likely to plateau by mid-August and a possible third wave could reach its peak between October and November.
He also said that the country could witness cases rise up between 1,50,000 and 2,00,000 which is comparatively less than what was recorded in the second wave was on its peak.