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‘India Peaked Covid-19 In September, Probably Has Over One Million Cases By February 2021’ | India News

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NEW DELHI: The number of active symptomatic Covid-19 cases in India already peaked at around 10 lakhs on September 17 and the cases, which are now declining, may reach the cumulative figure of 1.06 crore with negligible growth at the end of February next year, a government expert committee said on Sunday. It means that the pandemic can be brought under control early next year with “minimal active symptomatic infections” in February 2021.
However, publishing its projection based on a mathematical model, the Committee said that this number would start to rise again if proper masking, disinfection, tracking and quarantine practices were not followed.
“This is not a reason for us to relax because this pleasant downward trend will continue only if we continue with the protective measures,” said panel chair M Vidyasagar from IIT Hyderabad, while making a virtual presentation of the Committee’s findings. .
According to this panel, made up of scientists from IIT, IISc Bangalore, ISI Kolkata and CMC Vellore, India, in fact, it reached its peak four days before the maximum screening (September 21) made by this “national supermodel of India COVID-19 “. .
The Committee, appointed by the Ministry of Science and Technology to collect the collective experience of the Indian scientific community and come up with the model, has found that, at present, 30% of the country’s population is expected to have antibodies to 14 % at the end of August: this is double the ICMR survey that had projected that 7% of the population had antibodies at the end of August.
“This figure in 30% of the population with antibodies at this time is good news, since that is the explanation for the slowdown of this pandemic. The other point is that the cumulative mortality is projected at less than 0.04% of the total infected, ”Vidyasagar said.
In addition to these projections, the Committee, based on time profiles of analyzes conducted for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, concluded that the impact of labor migration on the total number of infections in these states was minimal, indicating the success of the strategies for quarantine taken for returnees. migrants.
The Committee also simulated what would have happened in hypothetical alternative scenarios regarding the timing of the lockdown regime and said that without lockdown, the pandemic would have hit India very hard, with a peak burden of more than 1.4 million cases arriving in June.
“If India had waited until May to impose the lockdown, the peak load of active cases would have been around 50 lakhs in June,” he said, noting that the imposition of an early and complete lockdown pushed the peak of cases toward the future and also reduced the maximum load on the system.
He said the lockdown “flattened the curve.” Analyzing actual deaths from the pandemic with various alternative scenarios, the panel noted that without a lockdown, the death toll in India would have overwhelmed the system in a very short period of time, eventually exceeding 26 billion. deaths.
“Therefore, the imposition of an early and complete lockdown carried the peak of cases into the future and also reduced the peak load on the system,” Vidyasagar said.
In making the projections, the Committee suggested that no new closures should be imposed at the district and state levels, unless there is an imminent danger that health care facilities will be overwhelmed.
However, he emphasized that existing personal safety protocols must continue in their entirety, noting that he is not yet aware of the specific climatic disturbances of this pandemic (in general, viruses tend to be more active in colder environments) and the effects of possible future mutations in the virus.
“Avoid congestion especially in closed spaces and special care for those over 65 and children is even more significant. Staff with comorbidities must be very cautious, ”the panel said in its suggestions.
Doing a comparative analysis, the Committee noted that the imposition of various security protocols, such as the use of masks, social distancing, etc., together with a comprehensive lockdown, has enabled India to perform better than many other countries.
“India has one sixth of the world’s population (one fifth excluding China) and one sixth of the reported cases. Yet India accounts for only 10% of deaths in the world and its fatality rate of less than 2% is among the lowest in the world. India’s death rate per million is approximately one-tenth that of European countries and the United States, ”the Committee said.

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