India should see a drop in the number of cases “within a week or two, maybe within days,” according to their latest model, M. Vidyasagar, chairman of the Covid-19 Modeling Committee, told CNN.
The committee, commissioned by the Indian government, is made up of scientists from various universities working on data modeling techniques.
During the first wave, Vidyasagar said they refined a model and that when they saw increases in February, they recalculated the model using the latest data.
“We found that the cases would peak around the beginning of May and we felt that the peak number would be around 120,000. Now, as it turned out, we have the right time, but we have not reached the exact number of cases,” he said. he in front of Becky Anderson of CNN.
“We underestimated the number of cases in early April, but the subsequent revisions we made to the model are on target,” he said, adding that their latest projections “lead to the pandemic at the top right now and we should expect a decrease in the number of cases within a week or two, probably even within days. “
Vidyasagar sent CNN an image of a model last updated on April 29, which shows that the predicted peak could occur immediately in the coming days. The model assumes that daily cases will fall below 200,000 per day by the end of the month.
His colleague, Manindra Agraval, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the prestigious IIT Kanpur University, who is also a member of the commission, published an updated schedule on May 1 in line with these forecasts.
Vidyasagar went on to explain: “The good news, if you want to call it that, is if you look at other countries that have had second waves like the United States like Britain, while the second wave has gone up very sharply, it’s gone down very sharply. So we hope that something similar will happen in India, and our model really shows that. “
“The first wave of the pandemic was very gentle. So some people in the government expected that the second wave would also rise very gently. And our task was to say that in fact the rise will be very steep, so the government must take a step very, very fast, “he said.
“Unfortunately, as we know, this was not enough, because the ferocity of the second wave surprised everyone, including us, the modelers,” Vidyasagar said.
The government has done what the committee has proposed, according to Vidyasagar. “They postponed” very ambitious plans that would emerge three months later, and refocused their attempts on short-term solutions such as setting up military hospitals, trying to build oxygen plants on site, “he said.
When asked about the reasons for the wave, he cites people who become complacent, disobey guidelines and public events with large crowds.
Vidyasagar said the government’s reports were “not adequate at all.”
According to him, one of the shortcomings of the messages “is not to encourage people to get vaccinated every time their eligibility is due. If, in fact, we had vaccinated all the people who were entitled to vaccination, the second wave would not have been as ferocious as it turned out. So in that sense, the government could definitely do more. “