A possible third wave of coronavirus may peak in November if a new variant, more virulent than the Delta, emerges and becomes fully active by September end, a scientist involved in the mathematical modelling of pandemic said on Monday. At the same time, the third wave may not see the number of new cases going as high as the second wave and is more likely to be on the lines of the first wave.
However, there may not be a third wave if no new variant, more infectious than the Delta, emerges, said Manindra Agrawal, a scientist with IIT-Kanpur who is part of the three-member team of experts tasked to predict the surge in the cases.
“Based on the new data, the country may see the third wave of coronavirus peaking in November if there is a new variant more infectious than the existing ones.
“Under that circumstance, we may see daily coronavirus cases up to 1.5 lakhs and peak by November. The intensity of the third wave may not be like the second but similar to the first,” Agrawal told PTI.
The predictions are based on assumptions.
The second wave of coronavirus, driven by the Delta variant, that swept through the country between March to May, infected lakhs and killed thousands. On May 7, the country recorded 4,14,188 COVID-19 cases.
The Delta variant is currently driving the coronavirus wave in different parts of the world.
“There may not be a third wave if a more infectious variant (than the existing ones in the country) does not emerge.
There will be ripples,” Agrawal said citing fresh data.
The data is likely to be made public soon, he said.
The Sutra-model team last month had predicted that the third wave of coronavirus could start by August and peak by October. The daily cases were projected to rise between 1.5-2 lakh. However, the cases in August have not shown an increasing trend.
According to a study by researchers of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the R or the Reproductive value of the coronavirus pandemic was 0.89 between August 14-16. It is necessary that the R-value is under one that can help arrest the spread of infection.
Vaccination has been the biggest weapon worldwide to combat coronavirus and more than 58 crore people have been inoculated in the country, the Health Ministry said on Monday.