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When will third wave of COVID-19 hit India? IIT Madras predicts amid rising cases


New Delhi: India’s R-naught value which indicates the spread of COVID-19 was recorded at 4 this week, suggesting a very high infection transmission rate, according to a preliminary analysis by IIT Madras predicting the peak of the third wave between February 1-15.

R-naught or R0 indicates the number of people an infected person can spread the disease to. A pandemic is considered to end if this value goes below 1.

Based on preliminary analysis by computational modeling done by IIT Madras, which was shared with PTI, the R0 value was close to 2.9 nationally in the past week (December 25 to December 31). The number was recorded at 4 this week (January 1-6).

Explaining further, Dr Jayant Jha, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, IIT Madras, said R0 depends on three things — Transmissibility probability, contact rate and the expected time interval in which infection can happen.

“Now, with the increase in quarantine measures or restrictions, maybe the contact rate will go down and then, in that case, R0 can decrease. So, based on our preliminary analysis, which is just based on the last two weeks, we can tell these numbers, but again, these numbers can change based on how much affirmative action is taken with respect to social gathering and all,” he told PTI.

India seeing exponential rise in COVID-19 cases

The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said India is seeing an exponential rise in the number of coronavirus cases, which is believed to be driven by the Omicron variant. It also highlighted that the country’s R naught value is 2.69, higher than the 1.69 recorded during the peak of the pandemic’s second wave.

Jha said the ministry’s estimates are based on a different time interval than IIT Madras which has done the preliminary analysis from the past two weeks.

He further said that as per their estimate, the peak in the current wave is expected to come between February 1-15 and it is expected to be sharper than earlier peaks.

“What we expect from the exploratory data analysis is that the peak will happen somewhere between February 1-15 and our analysis also shows that as compared to previous waves, there will be a sharper increase to the peak,” Jha said.

He said this wave will be different from the previous waves because of vaccination and factors like less social distancing seen this time.

Responding to how it is estimated that there is less social distancing in this wave, he said during the first wave many restrictions were imposed but right now despite having a high number of cases there are not many restrictions imposed yet.

“But the advantage here is that almost 50 per cent of the population this time has got vaccinated,” Jha added.

The preliminary analysis has been done jointly by IIT Madras’ Department of Mathematics and Centre of Excellence for Computational Mathematics and Data Science headed by Prof Neelesh S Upadhye and Prof S Sundar.

India reports over 1.41 lakh new coronavirus cases

India saw a single-day rise of 1,41,986 new coronavirus cases, the highest in around 222 days. The active coronavirus cases have now increased to 4,72,169, the highest in around 187 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Saturday morning. An increase of 1,00,806 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

The death toll has also climbed to 4,83,463 with 285 fresh fatalities. While 1,41,614 deaths have been reported from Maharashtra, 49,305 are from Kerala, 38,362 from Karnataka, 36,833 from Tamil Nadu, 25,136 from Delhi, 22,918 from Uttar Pradesh and 19,864 are from West Bengal.

India’s Omicron tally jumps to 3,071

The country has so far recorded 3,071 cases of the Omicron variant across 27 states and union territories. Of these, 1,203 have recovered or migrated, according to the data updated by the ministry at 8 am on Saturday.

Maharashtra has recorded the maximum number of 876 Omicron cases, followed by Delhi at 513, Karnataka 333, Rajasthan 291, Kerala 284 and Gujarat 204.

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Source: Zee News