Covid-19 tracker developed by UK's University of Cambridge predicts India will soon see an intense but short-lived virus outbreak "within days", even as the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid is spreading like wildfire across the country with over 780 cases reported so far.
Tracker accurately predicted the devastating second wave in May and forecast in August that India would suffer a slow burn in Covid infections.
"It is likely that India will see a period of explosive growth in daily cases and that the intense growth phase will be relatively short," Paul Kattuman, Professor at the Judge Business School at the varsity was quoted as saying to Bloomberg.
He predicts that the number of new infections will start to rise in the next few days, perhaps even within this week. However, he emphasized that it is difficult to predict how high the daily cases might reach.
In a December 24 report, the tracker noted a rise in infection rates that was "significantly concerning" for six states, and by December 26, it had expanded to 11 states.
During the last week, the number of Covid infections in India grew by around 7,000 cases due to the rapid spread of Omicron infection. The total tally of Covid cases has now reached 9,195, up from 7,000 a week earlier.
In a report released by the Union Health Ministry, 21 states and union territories have been affected by the Omicron infection.
A total of 238 Omicron cases were detected in Delhi, and 57 of these cases have been discharged. Kerala, Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and West Bengal have also reported high figures, according to the data.
According to a weekly epidemiological update released by the World Health Organization, the risk posed by the Omicron variant is still "very high".
In its weekly bulletin, the global health body stated that Omicron is behind rapid virus spikes in several countries, including those where it has already supplanted the previous dominant Delta variant.