New Delhi: The third wave of Covid-19 is expected to see a peak at the end of this month with daily cases of four to eight lakh (seven-day average) and the peak in Delhi and Mumbai are expected around mid-January with daily cases of 50,000-60,000 and 30,000 odd cases (seven-day average), respectively, said IIT Kanpur professor Manindra Agrawal, who is leading the government’s backed Sutra model to mathematically predict the spread of the virus, on Sunday.
This maths-backed model has always indicated that the fall would also be sharper in case of sharper rise in number of cases – it means the number of cases would fall quickly once the country as a whole and cities reach their respective peaks.
Agrawal, however, said the Sutra model at present does not have “precise data” on the third wave to be able to make accurate predictions for India as a whole. “Doing prediction for India at the moment is more difficult since the model has not been able to capture the present phase yet,” Agrawal tweeted two days ago.
As expected, Mumbai peak has changed with additional data. But the timing of peak remains the same: around 15th Jan. The phase is stabilizing — hopefully will by the weekend.
— Manindra Agrawal (@agrawalmanindra) January 6, 2022
On Sunday, he said, “We will have to wait for three-four days until we can give a more precise prediction (on India’s peak).” But, he appears to be more confident on peak prediction for Delhi and Mumbai which may happen one week from now. “The (Sutra) model has the more precise answer for these two cities,” he said.
“Overall, this wave appears manageable due to low hospitalization rates. Of course, things could change in the next couple of weeks. Also, there may be a localized shortage of beds. So proper care and planning is warranted,” tweeted Agrawal, noting that the bed requirement could peak around 1.5 lakh at all-India level whereas it could be “less than 12,000” in Delhi.
The professor does not see any direct link between the rise in cases and election rallies. Referring to a study of past elections during the pandemic phase, he said that the election rally was only one of the many things that had caused the wave to spread. “What is needed is not to focus on one thing but to have focus across the board,” said Agrawal.