The peak of the ongoing third wave in the country could surpass 8 lakh cases a day – almost twice the peak of the second wave – but a sharp rise in major cities like Mumbai or Delhi could be arrested very soon, perhaps by the middle of this month, according to an IIT-Kanpur professor and mathematician.
His projection is based on the current calculations, which are preliminary since there is still no data for the entire country.
“The third wave (for the country) is expected to peak sometime in the next month or even slightly earlier. Currently, we predict that there will be anywhere between 4 and 8 lakh cases per day. Across India, the curve has just begun to rise. It will take another month for it to begin falling. “By the middle of March, the third wave of the pandemic should be over in India,” Agrawal said.
During his interview on Friday (detailed transcripts will be published on Monday), Agarwal, who runs the SUTRA computer model that tracks the COVID-19 curve, said election contributions contributed to the case count.
There is no doubt that election rallies contribute to a surge in cases. “Certainly,” Agrawal said. “In reality, there are many reasons for the rise of cases in any state, and election rallies are just one of them. We were surprised to find that if we leave out the elections, the state’s overall situation did not change much.
His comments are significant in light of today’s election notification in the five states that put a freeze on roadshows and physical rallies until January 15.
He said his comments about the impact of elections were based on his analysis of the Covid situation in 16 states last year, five of which went to elections just before the second wave of elections.
“We calculated the parameters that determined the trajectory of each of these states’ second wave. The five parameters we considered determined how fast the pandemic spread in each of these states. We had divided the states into two categories: five states that went to elections and 11 states that did not. We computed to see if there is a difference between these groups. We ran a proper statistical analysis. Statistically, we found no difference between the two groups (of states). The results suggest that elections did not play a major role in the spread of the pandemic in the five states,” Agrawal said.
“We have not published the findings of our study yet, but we do intend to publish it sometime,” he said.
In response to a question about the surge, he replied: “It is difficult to make projections when parameters change so rapidly.”. For Mumbai, however, the third wave may peak somewhere around the middle of this month. In other words, it is not that far away. This seems to be the case with Delhi as well. Kolkata is less certain, but that city appears to be peaking at the same time.”
The peak for the country as a whole is expected to occur in February, according to Agrawal.