Experts are anticipating the third wave of Covid-19 to hit between October and November. But Manindra Agarwal, a top scientist working with the government panel, thinks that we may only see half the daily cases during the third wave when compared to the second wave.
The loss of immunity, effects of vaccination, and the possibility of a more virulent variant have been factored in predicting the third wave. The same was not done while modelling the second wave.
Manindra Agarwal, involved in the "Sutra Model'' or the mathematical projection of trajectory of COVID-19, said that the third wave can hit the peak if protocols are not followed diligently. Covid-19 during the third wave could also spread faster if a new more virulent variant of the coronavirus emerges.
The top expert said that the emergence of a new mutant will cause the third wave of Covid-19 to spread rapidly, but it will still be half of what the second wave was. He added that as vaccination progresses, the possibility of a third wave or fourth wave declines.
He also tweeted a graph that shows the second wave of Covid-19 to plateau by mid-August. It also suggests that the third wave could hit its peak between October and November.
Agarwal said that the team has created three scenarios - optimistic, intermediate, and pessimist.
In the optimistic scenario, there is no new mutant and life goes back to its normal routine by August. In the second and intermediate scenario, vaccination is 20% less effective and there is no new mutant. The last and pessimist scenario has a more infectious mutant showing up in August. He specified that the new mutant in the hypothetical scenario is not delta+ and is 25% more infectious.
The panel thinks that the daily cases during the third wave will be 50,000-100,000 in the optimistic scenario. Another member involved in the Sutra Model, M Vidyasagar, a scientist at IIT-Hyderabad said that hospitalisation can be expected to be less during the third wave.
The Department of Science and Technology formed the panel last year to create the Sutra Model which will forecast the surge of Covid-19 cases. However, the panel received flak for not speculating the exact nature of the second wave.