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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Third Covid wave peak likely to be lower: TIFR model

The model estimates that about 80 per cent of Mumbai’s population is already exposed to Covid-19 until June 1, including 90 per cent in slums and 70 per cent in non-slums.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
June 28, 2021 12:24:05 am
At a vaccination drive in Thane on Sunday. (Express Photo by Deepak Joshi)

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), in its simulation model, has estimated that a third coronavirus wave is unlikely to be large unless reinfections spike due to decaying antibodies or a variant in the virus is able to break through the immune response.

The model estimates that about 80 per cent of Mumbai’s population is already exposed to Covid-19 until June 1, including 90 per cent in slums and 70 per cent in non-slums.

“Mechanisms need to be in place that can continuously measure the emergence of reinfections and variants that can breakthrough existing immunity, including immunity provided through vaccines,” the report stated. “It is the reinfections that may lead to a larger wave,” it added.

The model has drawn up possible scenarios where the city is opened up to a 60 per cent level from June onwards and a new variant is 50 per cent more infectious and virulent than the Delta variant. In this case, the peak in the third wave would still not become larger than that of the second wave, the study model said. The model also predicts that covid waves will be larger in regions that were less exposed to the virus in the previous waves.

The simulation model states that if vaccination coverage is extensive in June, July, and August and vaccine is 75-95 per cent effective “the (Covid) wave will be barely noticeable even by September”.

The model was prepared by Sandeep Juneja and Daksh Mittal from the School of Technology and Computer Science in TIFR.

Last September, TIFR had made similar projections but anticipated a milder second wave. The emergence of the Delta variant, which turned out to be more transmissible and infectious, surged the peak in the second wave beyond all predictions. In the new model, the authors observed that making a projection model is difficult without the knowledge of a variant and how transmissible it can be.

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