June 27, 2022

Beginning of the end? Third wave in India may peak in next three weeks, says report | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The third wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India, triggered by the highly infectious Omicron variant, is likely to peak much earlier than anticipated, according to a report by SBI Research.
The report noted that share of new cases from the 15 worst-hit districts has seen a massive decline from 67.9% in December to 37.4% in January.
The report, however, admitted that 10 of these top 15 districts are major cities and among them Bengaluru and Pune still have higher infection rates.

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The findings come amid a slight decline in the daily Covid cases in India.
The country has reported a dip in new infections for the past three days, with 2.38 lakh cases being reported on Tuesday.

However, the decline in cases is also due to lower testing compared to earlier.
Nonetheless, the situation seems to be improving in major metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai, which had been witnessing a massive spike in cases since the beginning of this month.
According to the report, Mumbai seems to have achieved its peak at 20,971 cases on January 7, followed by Delhi which may have reached its peak at 28,867 cases on January 13.
“New cases in Mumbai seem to be stabilising but cases in districts like Pune are increasing in the current third wave and these are showing increase in daily new numbers,” the report also noted.
It said that if other districts implement stricter measures and control the spread, the national peak may come within 2-3 weeks after Mumbai’s peak.

If the trend of the second wave holds, then the forecast could be accurate. During the second wave last year, Mumbai was the first to hit its peak in early April while cases continued to rise elsewhere.
The national peak came well over three weeks after the peak in Mumbai.
Optimism during Omicron wave
Another point of optimism stems from the fact that India has fully vaccinated 64 per cent of the eligible population, while 89 per cent of the eligible population have been given the first dose.

Currently the 7-day median average of vaccination is 70 lakh.
Moreover, the Omicron wave has led to far fewer hospitalisation and severe cases than the Delta wave.
The report shows that hospital bed vacancy during the third wave has been much higher than what it was last year, when Delta ravaged through the country.

In places like Bengaluru and West Bengal, over 90% of the beds are vacant this time.
The higher figures are also due to better preparedness for the ongoing Omicron wave after the learnings of the Delta wave.
Omicron’s global impact

In a quick overview of Omicron’s global impact, the report said that average taken by major worst-hit countries to reach the peak was around 54 days.
Moreover, the cases during the peak this time were on average three times higher than the previous peak.
However, both hospitalisation and deaths have remained low during the Omicron wave.

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