The third wave of the China-origin coronavirus will be a “ripple” but only if there is no significantly faster-spreading mutant, according to projections of the ‘Sutra’ model for Covid-19. According to the Sutra analysis, if there is a faster-spreading mutant, the magnitude of the third wave will be “comparable to the first one”.
Maninder Agarwal, Professor, IIT-Kanpur, who was part of the team of scientists behind the Sutra analysis, said that they have created three scenarios.
First: The third wave will be a ripple. If there is no significantly faster-spreading mutant, the third wave will be a ripple and if there is such a mutant, the third wave will be comparable to the first one, Agarwal said.
“The optimistic one — where we assume that life goes back to normal by August, and there is no new mutant.”
Second: The intermediate one — where we assume that vaccination is 20% less effective in addition to optimistic scenario assumptions, he points out
Third: The pessimistic one — This has an assumption different from the intermediate one. A new 25% more infectious mutant spreads in August, Agarwal added.
As per the Sutra model, if there is an immunity escape mutant, all the above scenarios will be invalid.
Speaking further, the IIT-Kanpur professor said, “First, loss of immunity in the recovered population, second vaccination-induced immunity. Each of these two needs to be estimated for the future. And third, how to incorporate the two in the model.”
Third wave of Covid-19 expected by September or October
Another study by IIT Kanpur showed that the third wave of Covid-19 is expected by September to October this year.
The study was done by Professor Rajesh Ranjan and Mahendra Verma, along with their team.
It said, “There is significant anxiety among policymakers and public about the third wave. For the same, using the SIR model, we have constructed the following three scenarios of a possible third wave using the epidemic parameters of the second wave. We assume that India is fully unlocked on 15 July.”
Scenario 1 (Back-to-Normal): Third-wave peak in October but a lower peak height than the second wave.
Scenario 2 (Normal with virus mutations): The peak could be higher than the second one and may appear early (September).
Scenario 3 (Stricter interventions): The peak of the third wave could be delayed until late October with strict social distancing. Here, the peak will be lower than the second wave.”