COVID third wave likely to hit India this month; Study

The third wave of COVID-19 will likely hit India this month as the daily infections tally will go up to 100,000 in the best-case scenario or to 150,000 in the worst-case scenario, a study done by IIT researchers has predicted.

The research, led by Mathukumalli Vidyasagar and Manindra Agrawal at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Hyderabad and Kanpur, the surge in COVID cases in August will push the third wave which may peak in the month of October.

States with high COVID-19 cases such as Kerala and Maharashtra could ‘skew the picture,’ Mathukumalli Vidyasagar told Bloomberg.

India is currently reporting COVID cases nearing 40,000 daily as Kerala is the biggest contributor to the tally as it is reporting nearly or over 20,000 infections in a day.

On Sunday, India reported 41,831 cases of COVID-19 and 541 deaths from the pandemic. The central government cautioned 10 states, asking them to take strict measures as COVID infections are rising.

However, the next COVID wave is likely to be far smaller than the second wave that hit India in April and peaked at a record 4 lakh-plus cases on May 7 and started declining after.

The researchers, whose prediction is based on a mathematical model, said that India still needs to accelerate its vaccination campaign, deploy surveillance methods to catch emerging hotspots, and stay vigilant through genome sequencing as new variants could emerge, Bloomberg reported.

Experts have also warned that the highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus can fuel the surge. In May, June, and July, nearly eight out of every 10 COVID cases were caused by the Delta variant, according to data from the Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG).