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Omicron-led third wave has already reached its peak in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, as predicted by IIT's Sutra model on COVID-19, and for the past few days, these cities have been observing a significant drop in the number of daily cases. Making similar predictions for other states, Manindra Agrawal, IIT Kanpur professor, and the man behind model, said that COVID will peak in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana this week, while southern states like Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will see the current wave peak next week.    

For India, he says, the country will see its peak on 23 January when the daily caseload will be around 7.2 lakh. On Monday, India reported around 2.5 lakh cases, while the Omicron tally touched the 8,000 mark. 

Peak in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru

In a series of tweets, Agrawal cited that Mumbai peaked on 12th Jan, two days before model prediction. And as expected, the numbers are decreasing rapidly now. Meanwhile, in Delhi, the third COVID wave peaked yesterday. Kolkata had peaked on 13 Jan, one day before predicted. Speaking about Bengaluru in particular, he said, that the predicted peak in the city is on 22 Jan. 

Delhi and Mumbai have reported a big fall in Covid-19 infections in the past two days. Mumbai's daily new infections fell below 10,000 on Sunday for the first time since early this month. On the other hand, the cases in the national capital have fallen consistently since hitting a peak of 28,867 on January 13. On Monday, the city logged 12,527 cases. 

Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, Bengaluru recorded a total of 21,017 COVID infections.

Peak in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

In terms of the states, the predicted peaks for Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are on 19 January, and for Haryana, the same is on 20 January. While in the southern states, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, the third wave is likely to peak on 23rd, 30th and 25th January respectively. 

Peak in India

Finally India. Trajectory with data up to 11th indicates the peak on 23th Jan with nearly 7.2 lakh cases per day. Actual trajectory is already deviating significantly, and actual peak is unlikely to cross 4 lakh cases/day, he added. 

Why the COVID trajectories shifting?

The professor further asserted that the (COVID) trajectories are changing significantly across the country. ‘I speculated earlier that it is due to ICMR guidelines for changed testing strategy. However, at many places these guidelines are not yet implemented and still the trajectory has changed!’

Hence there might be two plausible reasons for this. First, there are two groups in population, one with less immunity against Omicron and other with more. The mutant first spread in the first group causing sharp rise. Now the first group is exhausted and so the spread is slower.

Second, There was a lot of concern when Omicron started spreading, but in the last week or so, people almost everywhere have concluded that it causes only mild infection and have decided to handle it with standard remedies instead of getting tested.

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