India had recorded 4.40 lakh daily cases on May 7, at the height of the second wave. On Sunday, daily cases increased to nearly 1.8 lakh, taking the active caseload to about 7.3 lakh. “The current global trajectory of the Covid surge indicates that India is bound to cross the previous peak of 4.4 lakh daily cases hit during the second wave. But there is no cause to panic as we are adequately prepared,” an official said.
“The government’s preparation this time is two to three times higher that what it was during the second surge in 2021,” the official said.
Officials also maintained that many modelling studies had been done in India to predict the peak and evidence from South Africa shows that cases powered by Omicron rises at an alarming speed but are also likely to fall with an equal velocity. Underlining that majority of cases are asymptomatic and mild, officials said expansion of vaccination coverage has helped keep hospitalisation low. “The infection in the current wave appears to be mild,” the official said.
The health ministry data shows India’s medical oxygen production capacity has been ramped up to 19,236 metric tonnes per day from around 9,500 metric tonnes a day during the peak of second surge. “We do not know if we will even need that much medical oxygen with Omicron as it is an upper respiratory tract infection,” a senior official said.