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Is Covid 3rd wave inevitable? What scientists have said about Omicron spread so far

According to researchers, the third wave of Covid wave in India is set to begin "early next year". Nevertheless, they stated that the infection rate will be milder than seen in the second wave, due to a large-scale immunity and vaccination present in the country now.

Health Desk Edited by: Health Desk New Delhi Published on: December 29, 2021 19:21 IST
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Image Source : FILE IMAGE/PTI

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Rising COVID cases and the increasing risk of Omicron variant in the country is raising many questions. It was almost after a year that things were getting back on track, however, once again the increasing number of COVID patients have slowed things down. In such a situation, many are wondering if we're moving towards the third wave of COVID. Many studies by Indian scientists show that the third wave of Covid-19 has stepped in India from mid-December, and it can hit its peak in February next year.

A yet-to-be peer reviewed study led by a team of researchers from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Kanpur used a statistical methodology based on the fitting of a mixture of Gaussian distributions - based on an algorithm for clustering to estimate the parameters.

The third wave was predicted utilising the data on the first two waves of the pandemic. The group also used the data of various countries that are already encountering the third wave, modelling their day-to-day cases data and forecasting the effect and timeline for the third wave in India.

"The report forecasts India's third wave of Covid-19 to start around mid-December 2021 and the cases to peak in the beginning of February 2022," Subhra Sankar Dhar, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, wrote in the paper.

A distinct analysis conducted by a combined team from the IITs Hyderabad and Kanpur is based on the Sutra model, which follows the country's Covid-19 course.

According to Professor M. Vidyasagar of IIT Hyderabad and Maninda Agrawal of IIT Kanpur, the everyday caseload is anticipated to grow as Omicron starts to replace Delta as the prevalent variant.

Meanwhile, the highly transmissible Covid variant Omicron tally has climbed to 781 in India out of which 241 have been discharged. The national capital has the highest cases of the variant at 238, followed by Maharashtra at 167 cases so far.

The rapid spread of Omicron infection has contributed to the total tally of Covid infection. India's overall Covid cases tally crossed the 9000-mark on Wednesday and currently stands at 9,195 cases. However, the over tally has been around 7,000 in the last week.

The World Health Organisation in its weekly epidemiological update has warned that the risk posed by the Omicron variant is still 'very high'. Omicron is behind rapid virus spikes in several countries, including those where it has already overtaken the previous dominant Delta variant, said the global health body in its weekly bulletin.

According to researchers, the third wave of Covid wave in India is set to begin "early next year".

Nevertheless, they stated that the infection rate will be milder than seen in the second wave, due to a large-scale immunity and vaccination present in the country now.

--with IANS inputs

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