India likely to see 2nd wave peak by May 7, says govt’s top mathematician Prof M Vidyasagar

By May 7, India may see the peak of the second wave of coronavirus circumstances, advised Prof M Vidyasagar, the federal government’s mathematical modelling skilled on Covid-19 case predictions.

“If you’re taking the nation as an entire, our prediction is that we could see a decline coming by the top of this week, which is by about May 7. Cases ought to begin declining, however totally different states will peak at totally different occasions. The nationwide and cumulative complete is on the peak now or may be very, very shut to it,” he said in an interview with India Today TV.

If the predictions hold true, it would be a huge relief for the country to cross the national peak of the second wave by this weekend.

“We take the seven-day rolling common as a result of the each day numbers preserve fluctuating. As a consequence, we must always not simply take a look at the uncooked numbers but additionally at a each day shifting common. That quantity will start to decline by the top of the current week,” Prof Vidyasagar said.


Speaking about the situation in various states and the trend therein, Prof Vidyasagar explained that different states would attain their peak at different times, and see a decline in their cases, as is currently being seen in the case of Maharashtra.

“The second wave basically started in Maharashtra. States that are located far away from Maharashtra will see a slow peak and the decline will be slower. States that are closer to Maharashtra will attain their peaks soon and their graph will start declining sooner,” he stated.

Asked if there could possibly be states that may attain their peaks after May, Prof Vidyasagar stated that’s unlikely.

“We are expecting the all-India total to peak by this week. Maximum by another 10-15 days, we expect every Indian state to peak and begin a downturn. There could be outliers as well. But by and large, that is what we expect,” he stated.


Prof Vidyasagar stated if one compares curves of the primary and second wave, one would discover that within the first wave the rise in circumstances was very light.

“It took about 3.5 months to reach the peak and the drop was equally gentle. In the second wave, on April 1 we had 75,000 cases and exactly a month later, we breached the 4-lakh mark. We expect that the decline will be more or less as rapid as the rise was. The nationwide caseload by the end of May should be something around 1.2 lakh per day.”

He nevertheless clarified that we aren’t going to see zero circumstances. “That’s something that is not going to happen.”


Prof Gautam Menon, Prof of Biology at Ashoka University, alternatively, anticipates the peak will come in the direction of the second week of May or round mid-May.

Dr Ashish Jha, Dean on the Brown University School of Public Health, disagrees with Prof Vidyasagar’s concept that the variety of circumstances will drop as rapidly as they rose within the second wave in India.

“That depends on policy. If the policy is effective in bringing cases to control, then they could decline quickly. If it is not, then the experience of many countries is that you peak, but very slowly meander down which could take months. I am not confident that we could see a dramatic decline in cases. We may end up being at a very high peak for a long period of time,” he stated.

Dr Ashish Jha advised the top of the second wave would depend upon how nicely we do in regard to testing and vaccination, together with stopping additional unfold of the virus.

“My take is that it is going to take through the month of May. Probably through a large part of June. We could end up getting into July too. Sometime in June, we could get into the figure of 1 lakh cases per day,” he stated.


While India remains to be grappling with the second Covid-19 wave, there have been considerations about the opportunity of a 3rd wave hitting the nation.

Prof Vidyasagar stated though within the second wave a lot of individuals examined optimistic for Covid-19, there could possibly be those that had been contaminated and had been asymptomatic, however haven’t been examined.

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“These are the people who are going to remain immune for at least six months. They will begin to lose immunity towards the end of that period. So, that is when we need to have our vaccination programme well-underway. Even if they begin to lose their immunity, they should not remain susceptible to catch the virus. If we vaccinate a substantial part of the at-risk population in about six months, then the third wave could end up being a third bump instead of the horrific wave that we are seeing at present,” he stated.


“What we foresaw was the timing of the peak of the second wave. We got that spot on. What we did not get on target was the height of the second peak. We expected the cases to peak out at 1.2 lakh,” stated Prof Vidyasagar.

Meanwhile, in accordance to Dr Ashish Jha, what’s extra worrying immediately is the affect on mathematical fashions and information as a result of there’s a concern that a lot of the info is underreported.

“There is a dramatic undercounting of data on infections. My estimates say the data could be 5-10 times as much and a similar number of deaths. This poses challenges for any estimates we do,” stated Dr Jha.

Agreeing with him, Dr Gautam Menon stated the take a look at positivity price in India is 20 per cent. “That’s very high. We have seen this in Uttar Pradesh and many states that people are unable to test due to lack of test kits or there is too much of a lag. This can mess up the numbers.”

Also Read | Most Indian districts have covered less than 10% of their population

“All models are wrong, but some models are useful,” stated Dr Jameel, a famous virologist. “It actually depends upon the info you utilize for making a mannequin. If you do not take a look at sufficient, report each day circumstances, each day deaths correctly, then it is rather troublesome to make an correct mannequin. All fashions depend upon the assumptions you make,” he said.

Dr Jameel reasoned that India’s natural death rate is 7.2 deaths per 1,000 people per year. This roughly translates to 27,000-28,000 deaths per day across the country.

“This is the baseline. If only 3,000 people were dying of Covid-19 per day, it would barely add about 12 per cent to the baseline. You would hardly notice it at the crematoria and burial grounds. What does that tell you? The deaths are being hugely undercounted, so are the cases. Unless good numbers go into models, you won’t have good models of the type that count,” stated Dr Jameel.

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