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Second wave to end in July; a third wave in six months

A three-member panel of scientists set up by the Department of Science and Technology under the Science Ministry of the Government of India, using the SUTRA (Susceptible, Undetected, Tested (positive) and Removed Approach) model, predicted that the second wave of COVID-19 in India is expected to decline by July 2021 and a third wave is expected to emerge within a period of six to eight months. It has been predicted that by the end of May, there will be 1.5 lakh cases per day and by the end of June, only 20,000 cases would be recorded on a daily basis.

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Professor Manindra Agarwal from IIT Kanpur, a member of the panel, conveyed that cases in states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi and Goa have already reached their peak. However, according to the model, cases in states like Tamil Nadu, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh will reach their peak in the coming days. 

As per the model, cases in Tamil Nadu will reach their peak between May 29-31 while cases in Puducherry will surge between May 19-20. Assam may peak by May 20-21, Meghalaya on May 30 and Tripura between May 26-27 while cases in Himachal Pradesh may peak by May 24 and Punjab by May 22.

It has been estimated that a third wave will strike in about six to eight months. However, there will be no third wave till October 2021 at least. People will be less prone to infections as they will be backed up by immunity from vaccination.        

The National COVID-19 Supermodel Committee formed by the Government of India to predict the spread of COVID-19, employs the mathematical model SUTRA to predict the intensity of the pandemic so as to help frame policies. The SUTRA model came into existence last year to study the course of the pandemic. However, the committee was unable to predict the nature and course of the second wave of the pandemic in India.

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