Home / News / India /  COVID 4th wave can be severe if …: IIT Kanpur team designs model on next coronavirus peak

The severity of infection during the 4th COVID wave, which is likely to hit India in another 4 months, will depend on the coronavirus variant that emerges next and the vaccination status, including boosters, across the country. A team of scientists at IIT Kanpur, who designed a COVID model predicting the next wave, said that it will hit the country around June and will continue for the next 4 months, while peaking in August. The same research team had previously predicted that the third wave of the pandemic in India would peak by February 3, 2022.

Is India likely to witness the 4th COVID wave?  

The scientists said that the fourth wave of COVID-19 in India will arrive after 936 days from the initial data availability date, which is January 30, 2020.

Therefore, the fourth wave starts from June 22, 2022, reaching its peak on August 23, 2022, and ends on October 24, 2022, the authors said in the study. 

They further clarified that the entire analysis will be deeply impacted by how and when the next variant arrives.

The new COVID model was designed using a mixture of Gaussian distribution based on the data on Zimbabwe. However, the researchers noted that there is always a fair chance that a possible new variant of coronavirus may have an intense impact on the whole analysis.

How severe will be the 4th COVID wave? 

The impact will depend on the various factors like the variant's infectibility, fatality, etc, they said.

"Apart from this fact, the effect of vaccinations -- first, second or booster dosage may also play a significant role on the possibility of infection, degree of infection and various issues related to the fourth wave," the authors said.

Will severe will be the next variant? 

Time and again researchers have pointed out that Omicron is not the last variant of concern, and there is no guarantee that the next variant will be milder.  "The next variant of concern will be more fit, and what we mean by that is it will be more transmissible because it will have to overtake what is currently circulating," said Maria Van Kerkhove, World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 technical lead.

The study led by Sabara Parshad Rajeshbhai, Subhra Sankar Dhar, and Shalabh of IIT Kanpur's Department of Mathematics and Statistics has been published in MedRxiv as a pre-print. However, the study is yet to be peer-reviewed. 




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