The third wave will peak by February 15: IIT-M

On Saturday, Delhi registers 20,181 cases, 19% + vity; India 1.41 lakh, 3,071 Omicron cases

The march of Covid-19 infection slowed slightly in Mumbai and Delhi over the past 24 hours on Saturday, but overall the situation still looks so alarming.

As of Saturday, 1,41986 daily infections were reported, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 3,5,368,372, including 3,071 Omicron variants.

Delhi reported 20,181 new cases of Covid on Saturday, the largest single-day increase since May of last year. The capital has reported 7 deaths in the past 24 hours. Delhi reported 15,097 new cases on Friday. The test positivity rate was 19%.

On the other hand, Mumbai reported 20,318 cases in the past 24 hours on Saturday, slightly lower than Friday’s 20,971. The city has recorded 5 deaths linked to Covid. Overall, Maharashtra added 41,434 new Covid cases, slightly higher than on Friday. Thirteen people have died in the past 24 hours in the state. Of the total cases, 82 percent are asymptomatic, compared with 84 percent.

However, this is only the beginning, as indicated by a preliminary analysis by IIT Madras which predicted the peak of the third wave between February 1 and February 15.

They attributed this to India’s R-naught or R0 value which indicates the spread of Covid-19 was recorded at 4 this week, suggesting a very high transmission rate of the infection. R0 indicates the number of people to whom an infected person can transmit the disease. A pandemic is considered over if this value drops below 1.

Based on a preliminary computer modeling analysis performed by IIT Madras, the R0 value was close to 2.9 nationwide over the past week (December 25 to December 31). The number was registered at 4 this week (January 1-6), according to a news agency.

Dr Jayant Jha, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, IIT Madras, said that R0 depends on three things – the likelihood of transmissibility, the rate of contact and the expected time frame in which infection can occur.

“Now, with the increase in quarantine measures or restrictions, the contact rate may go down and in that case the R0 may go down. So based on our preliminary analysis, which is based only on the past two weeks, we can say these numbers, but again, those numbers may change depending on how many positive actions have been taken regarding the rallies. social and all, ”he said. .

The Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday that India is experiencing an exponential increase in the number of coronavirus cases, believed to be due to the Omicron variant. He also pointed out that the country’s R-value zero is 2.69, higher than the 1.69 recorded during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic.

Among the southern states, Tamil Nadu has reported 10,978 new cases, 1,525 recoveries and 10 deaths in the past 24 hours. Karnataka has reported 8,906 new Covid cases, 508 exits and 4 deaths in the past 24 hours. At the same time, active Covid-19 cases in Kerala reached 31,098 on Saturday after 5,944 more infections were reported in the past 24 hours.

Jha said the ministry’s estimates are based on a different time frame from that of IIT Madras which carried out the preliminary analysis for the past two weeks.

He further said, according to their estimate, that the peak of the current wave is expected to occur between February 1 and February 15, and that it should be sharper than previous peaks.

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

He said this wave will be different from previous waves due to vaccination and factors such as less social distancing seen this time around.

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

“But the advantage here is that almost 50% of the population has been vaccinated this time,” Jha added. With the administration of more than 90 lakh (90,59,360) doses of vaccine in the past 24 hours, India’s vaccine coverage against Covid-19 has exceeded 150.61 crore, of which 2 crore are from people the 15 to 18 year old age group who have started to be vaccinated. from January 3.

The preliminary analysis of the Covid wave was carried out jointly by the Mathematics Department at IIT Madras and the Center of Excellence for Computational Mathematics and Data Science led by Professor Neelesh S Upadhye and Professor S Sundar .

In Delhi, given the increase in Covid-19 cases, the Kejriwal government has added 5,650 normal beds and 2,075 intensive care beds in 14 hospitals as well as 2,800 beds in eight Covid care centers.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain said: “About 13,300 beds are still available for patients in Delhi hospitals. Very few patients are admitted to this corona wave, but we have made arrangements in hospitals to keep the situation under control in Delhi. “

Carol N. Valencia