Friday, February 3, 2023

Next COVID wave in India in 4 months, warns IIT Kanpur team

India is likely to witness the fourth covid wave in mid to late June, and the surge is to continue for about 4 months, a recent study by a team of IIT Kanpur scientists has suggested. The severity, however, will depend on the nature of the variant, the vaccination status across the country.

The study has been led by Sabara Parshad Rajeshbhai, Subhra Sankar Dhar and Shalabh of IIT Kanpur’s Mathametic department using a mixture of Gaussian distribution based on the data on Zimbabwe. The study has been published as a pre-print in MedRxiv, but it is yet to be peer-reviewed.

When will India witness the 4th COVID wave?

The authors said that the data indicates that the fourth wave of COVID-19 in India will arrive after 936 days from the initial data availability date, which is January 30, 2020.

“Therefore, the fourth wave starts from June 22, 2022, reaching its peak on August 23, 2022 and ends on October 24, 2022,” they said and also added, “Moreover, the 99% confidence interval for the date, when the curve will reach the peak, is approximately from August 15, 2022 to August 31, 2022.”

How severe will be the 4th COVID wave?

There is always a fair chance that a new variant of this virus may have an intense impact on the whole analysis. The intensity of the impact will depend on various factors like infectibility, fatality etc, the authors said

Apart from this fact, the effect of vaccinations – first, second or booster dosage may also play a significant role on the possibility of infection, degree of infection and various issues related to the fourth wave, they also added.

How will the next option arrive?

Another recent study has shown that the next COVID variant can emerge in 2 different ways. Also, there is no guarantee that the new variant will be less severe than the previously identified ones, they pointed out.

First, Omicron continues to evolve, creating some sort of Omicron-plus variant that is worse than BA. 1 or BA.2. The second possibility is that a new, unrelated variant appears, Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle told scientific journal Nature.

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