When will fourth wave of COVID-19 hit India?
A fourth wave of COVID-19 cases may hit India between June and October this year, according to a study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur. It said the new wave of infections will start from June 22, reach its peak in August, and end in October. However, the severity of the fourth wave will depend on various factors, the study added.
- This is the first major prediction about a potential fourth wave of COVID-19 in India.
- India has already witnessed three waves of the viral disease, which has claimed the lives of over five lakh people in the country.
- The third wave had peaked last month at nearly 3,50,000 daily infections.
- Health officials around the world have warned that new coronavirus variants will keep emerging.
The study was conducted by Sabara Parshad Rajeshbhai, Subhra Sankar Dhar, and Shalabh of IIT Kanpur's Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The researchers used data from previous COVID-19 waves in India to forecast the upcoming surge. It was uploaded on February 24 on MedRxiv—a pre-print server for health services—and has not been peer-reviewed as yet.
"The fourth wave of COVID-19 in India will arrive after 936 days from the initial data availability date, which is 30 January, 2020. Therefore, the fourth wave starts from 22 June 2022, reaching its peak on 23 August 2022 and ends on 24 October 2022," the study said. The severity of the fourth wave would depend on virus variants and the status of vaccinations.
"It has been observed that the Omicron variant is more infectious than the Delta variant but less fatal, and consequently, less hospitalization due to Omicron is reported, though the number of infected cases was more during the third wave," the study said. "There is always a fair chance that a new variant of this virus may have an intense impact on the whole analysis."
On Monday, India added 8,013 new COVID-19 cases, falling below the 10,000-mark after two months. Meanwhile, the death toll climbed to 5,13,843 after an addition of 119 fatalities, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. India's daily coronavirus cases have remained under one lakh for three weeks now. The country recently saw a third wave peak of nearly 3,50,000 daily infections.