COVID: India may see exponential growth in cases; possibly within this week, says Cambridge Tracker
The Cambridge India tracker had correctly pointed out the peak of the devastating second wave in May and also forecast in August that India would see a slow burn in its Covid infections curve
India may see exponential rise in the Covid-19 growth rate within days. The country will move into an intense but short-lived virus wave as omicron spreads through almost 1.4 billion.
"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. New infections will begin to rise in a few days, possibly within this week. It is hard to predict how high the daily cases could go,” Paul Kattuman, professor at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge which has developed a Covid-19 India tracker, wrote in an email.
According to a report in Bloomberg, Kattuman and his team of researchers, developers of the India Covid tracker, are seeing a spurt in infection rates across India. The tracker highlighted six states as places of "significant concern" in a December 24 note with adjusted growth rate of new cases exceeding 5%. By December 26, this had expanded to 11 Indian states, according to the tracker, which corrects for "day of the week effects" and other variations.
The Cambridge India tracker had correctly pointed out the peak of the devastating second wave in May and also forecast in August that India would see a slow burn in its Covid infections curve until the vaccination coverage was sufficiently high. India crossed 1 billion administered vaccine doses in October and new cases plunged in tandem with that milestone, reported Bloomberg.
On Wednesday, India added 9,195 Covid cases, the highest new daily cases in three weeks, pushing the total confirmed tally to 34.8 million infections. The total number of fatalities so far is 480,592 deaths. The country is gearing up to prevent another massive outbreak even though only 781 cases of the highly-mutated omicron have been identified so far.
India allowed booster shots last week and also included teenagers aged 15 to 18 in the inoculation programme. Two more vaccines as well as antiviral pill molnupiravir, developed by Merck & Co. with partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, were approved by the local drug regulator Tuesday.
Meanwhile, New Delhi raised yellow alert and closed cinemas, schools and gyms and introduced restrictions on public gathering on Tuesday, a day after it reported the most new cases in more than four months. Night curfew kicks in from 10 pm to 5 am and bars, restaurants as well as offices will have 50% occupancy. Mumbai also reported a surge in new cases to 1,377 on Tuesday and clamped restrictions too.