Home / News / India /  When will Omicron-led third wave peak in Delhi, Mumbai? Here's what Sutra model predicts

As Omicron cases continue to surge in India, a study reveals the third wave could hit the peak by February with infection load likely to be reaching up to 1-1.5 lakh a day. The projection of Department of Science and Technology (DST) backed Sutra model also suggested that the current COVID wave will peak in Delhi and Mumbai in and around 15 January.

“With the new variant, our current forecast is that the country could see the third wave by February but it will be milder than the second wave. So far we have seen that the severity of Omicron is not like the one seen in the Delta variant," IIT Kanpur professor Manindra Agrawal, who is part of the study, told PTI.

 Agrawal further said in a tweet today, Doing prediction for India at the moment is more difficult since model has not been able to capture the present phase yet. Extrapolating from Mumbai, we estimate that peak could arrive in Jan-end/Feb-beginning. Its value could be between 4-8 lakh cases per day (7-day average)

Peak in Mumbai:

Our guess for peak value of Mumbai is between 30-60K cases/day (7-day average). This appears large, but hospitalizations are happening for only ~3.5% reported cases and so bed requirement will peak at ~10K, which should be manageable, he further added

As expected, Mumbai peak has changed with additional data. But the timing of peak remains the same: around 15th Jan. The phase is stabilizing -- hopefully will by the weekend, he said.

Peak in Delhi:

Delhi is still not stabilized, but is improving. Our guess for peak value for Delhi is between 35-70K cases/day (7-day average) and bed requirement to peak at less than 12K. Peak around 15th Jan for Delhi also, Agrawal also suggested

Third wave appears manageable so far

Speaking about the new variant, Agarwal told PTI, “It looks like although the new variant has shown high transmissibility, its severity is not like the one seen in the Delta variant." 

However, he further opined that, overall, this wave appears manageable due to low hospitalization rates. Of course, things could change in next couple of weeks. Also, there may be localized shortages of beds. So proper care and planning is warranted.

Bed requirement could peak around 1.5L. This is a big jump from our earlier projections based on SA data. As observed, Indian trajectory is very different from SA. With time, we will be able to make projections more precise, he added

He said as observed during the spread of delta, a mild lockdown (night curfew, restrictions on crowding) can bring down beta substantially. That will significantly reduce the peak value.

India on Friday reported over 1 lakh fresh coronavirus infections, the highest in 214 days, Mumbai logged over 20,000 cases, and the national capital recorded over 17,000 cases. Meanwhile, the tally of coronavirus variant Omicron has breached the 3,000 mark today. Maharashtra and Delhi are touted to be the worst hit.

Sutra model had earlier predicted that the third wave of coronavirus could hit the country by October if a new variant, more virulent and transmissible than the Delta, emerges.

(With inputs from agencies)

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