The third wave of COVID-19 may hit India this month (August) and may hit a peak in October, researchers have said. According to a report in Bloomberg, researchers led by Mathukumalli Vidyasagar and Manindra Agrawal at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Hyderabad and Kanpur respectively have said the third wave of the novel coronavirus may peak with less than 1,00,000 infections a day in the best-case scenario; or nearly 1,50,000 cases a day in the worst scenario.
The predictions on the COVID-19 third wave come from researchers who had accurately forecast the lessening of the surge in COVID-19 cases earlier this year, and this study is based on a mathematical model.
The third wave is very likely to peak by October, researchers were quoted as saying. Also in an email, Vidyasagar, a professor at IIT Hyderabad, said that states showing a high COVID positivity rate (such as Kerala and Maharashtra at present), could “skew the picture.”
On the third wave predictions, the researchers have further said it is not likely to be as brutal as the second wave.
In May, Vidyasagar had said India’s coronavirus outbreak could peak in the coming days based on the mathematical model.
“Our predictions are that the peak will come within a few days. As per current projections, we should hit 20,000 cases per day by the end of June. We will revise this as needed,” Vidyasagar had said.
COVID-19 pandemic in India: Present situation
Meanwhile, fresh COVID-19 cases in India registered a week-on-week rise for the first time in 12 weeks since the peak of the second wave in early May. Currently, however, the surge is mainly restricted to Kerala and, to a much lesser degree, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Overall, India registered more than 2.86 lakh new cases in the current week (July 26-August 1), a 7.5 per cent rise from the previous week’s tally of 2.66 lakh.
Weekly cases in the country have registered a rise for the first time since May 3-9, when the second wave peaked. The fall in cases had continued till last week, even though the decline had slowed to 1.4 per cent.
According to the Health Ministry data updated on Monday, India registered 40,134 fresh COVID-19 infections, pushing its virus tally to 3,16,95,958, while the number of active cases registered an increase for the sixth consecutive day.
The death toll from the pandemic climbed to 4,24,773 with 422 daily fatalities.
The number of active coronavirus cases has increased to 4,13,718 and comprises 1.31 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.35 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.
An increase of 2,766 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
COVID-19 second wave in India
By February 2021, daily cases of COVID-19 in India had fallen to 9,000. However, by early April 2021, a major second wave of infections took hold in the country. On April 9, India surpassed 1 million active cases and by April 12, India overtook Brazil as having the second-most COVID-19 cases worldwide.
By late April, India passed 2.5 million active cases and was reporting an average of 300,000 new cases and 2,000 deaths per day. On April 30, India reported over 4,00,000 new cases of coronavirus and over 3,500 deaths in one day.
The number of new cases had begun to steadily drop by late May. On May 25, the country reported 195,994 new cases – its lowest daily increase since April 13.
However, the mortality rate has remained high and by May 24, India recorded over 3,00,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
In May 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared that two variants of the coronavirus will be referred to as ‘Delta’ and ‘Kappa’.