According to a scientist of government panel tasked with modeling Covid-19 cases said that the third wave of coronavirus could hit the country between October and November if proper Covid guidelines are not followed. 

He also said, there is a possibility that the third wave would witness half the daily cases recorded during the second wave. He also cautioned that the third wave would spread faster if any new mutant of Covid-19 emerges. 

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A panel (Surta Model) was prepared by the Department of Science and Technology last year, the task for the panel was to forecast the surge of coronavirus cases using mathematical models. The panel was also criticized for not predicting the exact nature of the second wave of Covid-19. 

Manindra Agarwal, a member of “Surta Model” said that model has three scenarios, which are optimistic, intermediate and pessimistic, for the prediction of the third wave. 

Mr Agarwal said that loss of immunity, effects of vaccination and possibility of more virulent variants, have been factored while predicting the third wave, this wasn’t done during modeling the second wave of Coronavirus. 

In a series of tweet, he said, “We have created three scenarios. One is “optimistic”, in this, we assume that life goes back to normal by August, and there is no mutant. 

The second is “intermediate”, this we assume that vaccination is 20 percent less effective in addition to optimistic scenario assumptions.

And, third in “pessimist”, this has one assumption different from intermediate: a new, 25 percent more infectious mutant spreads in August (it is not delta+, which is not more infectious than delta).”

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He also shared a graph that showed that the second wave is likely to become normal in mid-August and the third wave could reach the peak in October and November. 

The scientist has further said that according to the three scenarios, the third wave could see a rise in cases between 1,50,000 to 2,00,000. The expected figure is less than half of the cases reported during the second wave as on May 7, India has recorded more than 4,00,000 covid-19 cases. 

Mr Agarwal said, “If a new mutant comes, the third wave could spread rapidly, but it will be half of what the second wave was. Delta variant is infecting people who were infected with a different variant. So this has been taken into consideration.”

He further said that vaccination is the only possibility that the intensity of third and fourth wave would be less.

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He said, “In case of an "optimistic" scenario, the daily cases could be in the range of 50,000 to 1,00,000. In the case of the intermediate scenario (if it is assumed that vaccination is 20 percent less effective, in addition to optimistic scenario assumptions), the cases could be in the range of 50,000 to 1,00,000, but more than the optimistic scenario.”

Mr Agarwal also explained the reason for the delay in the analysis of the third wave. 

He tweeted, “It took us a while to do the analysis for three reasons. First, loss of immunity in the recovered population, second, vaccination-induced immunity. Each of these two (factors) need to be estimated for the future.

And third, how to incorporate these two factors in the Sutra model. Fortunately, it turned out that both can be incorporated by suitably changing contact rate and reach parameters. So that takes care of the third factor. The first two factors required detailed analysis.”

The same was shared by a scientist of IIT-Hyderabad, M Vidyasagar, who is involved in the modeling of Covid cases. 

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He said that there are chances that hospital admissions during the third wave would be less. To support his statement he cited the example of the UK and said more than 60,000 cases were reported and daily death touched the number of 1,200. However, during the fourth wave, the number of daily cases is 21,000 and reported deaths are just 14. 

M Vidhyasagar said, “Vaccination played a major role in bringing down the cases that needed hospitalization in the UK. This has been factored in while coming out with the three scenarios.”

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