Home/ News / India/  Good or bad? Experts come with forecast for Covid-19 during the coming winter

Covid-19 infection is projected to rise gradually by February next year, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said. As per the US institutes, Covid cases are likely to rise slowly to about 18.7 million average daily cases by February next year from the current 16.7 million daily during winters. However, the surge in cases is not expected to cause an increase in deaths. It made a forecast that global daily deaths would average 2,748 people on February 1 compared with around 1,660 now. The study also said that hospitalisation rate will also be low.

The study estimates that daily infections will increase by a third to more than a million, driven by students returning to school and cold weather-related seasonal illnesses.

Meanwhile, Germany is witnessing a peak in Covid cases already. The IHME study said that the escalation in cases could be due to BQ.1 or BQ.1.1 sub-variants, and can spread to other parts of Europe.

IHME's analysis also shows that the new Omicron subvariant XBB, which is currently driving a surge in hospitalizations in Singapore, is more transmissible but less severe. The global impact of XBB is expected to be muted by the fact that people who were previously infected with the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron likely have immunity against it, the report shows.

Additionally, the report highlighted new findings on long Covid. The report said that long Covid is more common in women than men, and it's quite a low risk in children. And with the milder variants, the probability of long Covid also becomes less.

"Despite that, we're seeing 5% or 6% of individuals having long Covid symptoms at three months. That, fortunately, drops down to about 1% at 12 months. But if you take the huge volume of Covid infections in the world, those numbers do translate into a very large number of individuals globally who will be suffering at three months from symptoms of long Covid and many millions suffering even at 12 months with symptoms of long Covid just because of the incredible ubiquity of Covid infection," the report added.

Long Covid affected 17 million people in the European region in 2020 and 2021.

"About 6% of people with Covid still had symptoms after three months and 1% had symptoms after a year," it added

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Updated: 26 Oct 2022, 01:04 PM IST
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