India May See ‘Short-lived’ Covid Third Wave Soon: Cambridge Tracker


Swab tests to passengers arriving at the New Delhi Railway Station from their native, after the Delhi government eased restrictions for travel amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic in New Delhi on Thursday, August 05, 2021. (Photo: Qamar Sibtain/IANS)

NEW DELHI – A Covid-19 tracker, developed by UK’s University of Cambridge, has predicted that India may soon see an intense but short-lived virus wave “within days”, even as the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid is spreading like wildfire in the country with over 780 cases reported on Wednesday.

The tracker had aptly predicted the devastating second wave in May and had also forecast in August that India would see a slow burn in its Covid infections.

“It is likely that India will see a period of explosive growth in daily cases and that the intense growth phase will be relatively short,” Paul Kattuman, Professor at the Judge Business School at the varsity was quoted as saying to Bloomberg.

“New infections will begin to rise in a few days, possibly within this week,” he said. However, he added that it was hard to predict how high the daily cases could go.

The tracker showed a sharp rise in infection rates in six states as a “significant concern” in a December 24 note, and this expanded to 11 Indian states by December 26, the report said.

The rapid spread of Omicron infection has contributed to the total tally of Covid infection in India. The country’s overall Covid cases tally crossed the 9,000-mark on Wednesday and currently stands at 9,195 cases. However, the overall tally has been around 7,000 in the last week.

According to the Union Health Ministry update, the Omicron infection has so far spread into 21 states and Union Territories.

Out of the 238 Omicron cases detected in Delhi, 57 of them have been discharged. Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, West Bengal have reported Omicron cases in two-digit figures, the data showed.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its weekly epidemiological update has warned that the risk posed by the Omicron variant is still “very high”. Omicron is behind rapid virus spikes in several countries, including those where it has already overtaken the previous dominant Delta variant, said the global health body in its weekly bulletin. -IANS

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