Currently, India has the second-highest COVID-19 cases reported in the world after the United States.
"Our mathematical model estimates that around 30 per cent of the population is currently infected and it could go up to 50 per cent by February," Manindra Agrawal, a professor at the Indian Institute for Technology, Kanpur and a committee member, as reported by Reuters.
As per the panel's estimation, the current spread of the virus is much higher than the central government's serological surveys, which showed that only around 14 per cent of the population had been infected, as of September.
"Central government's serological surveys might not get sheer sampling because of the vast population in India. So we have developed an alternative model which explicitly takes into account of infectious people which are not reported along with reported cases", Mr. Agrawal added.
The panel urged following covid control measures strongly such as wearing masks and social distancing.
Experts also warned that infections could rise in the country as the holiday season nears, with celebrations for the festivals of Durga Puja and Diwali due this month and in mid-November, respectively.