Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment serve Covid-19 patients in a banquet hall that was temporarily converted into a Covid care center in New Delhi on May 7, 2021.
Prakash Singh | AFP | Getty Images
In total, Covid-19 cases in India have surpassed 24 million as the country struggles with the devastating second wave of infections that has engulfed its healthcare system.
Government figures released on Friday show that 343,1
However, daily cases remained below the record 414,188 figures announced on May 7, but pressure has not yet eased from hospitals. Reports also suggest that the virus is touring rural India, where experts say the health system is not designed to cope with the increase in cases.
A professor at the Indian Kanpur Institute of Technology said on Friday that everyday cases in India may have peaked.
“According to our model, the number of new cases coming in every day has already exceeded the top and we are on our way down,” Manindra Agraval, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, told CNBC Street Signs Asia. He added that the number of active cases in India is also “very close to the top” and that this could happen in the next few days, after which things are likely to improve.
Agrawal co-authored a mathematical model for pandemics called SUTRA (sensitive, undetected, tested (positive) and eliminated) approach with two scientists to predict the spread of the coronavirus.
Earlier, the model predicted that the second wave in India would peak by the third week of April and that daily cases were likely to remain around 100,000. April was the worst month in India so far with officially reported nearly 7 million cases, while more than 48 000 people died. Experts say the actual number is probably much higher.
The scientists behind SUTRA then said that the shortcomings of the model were due to the changing nature of the Covid-19 virus.
For his part, Agraval told CNBC that the SUTRA model predicted that the second wave would have a similar intensity as the first wave and would reach its peak by the end of April.
“This is the feedback we sent to the government,” he said, adding, “Until we got the location or the weather more or less right, at the top, but we didn’t get the right intensity.”
“No one could really estimate the intensity of the wave, and that surprised us all,” Agraval added.
Indian authorities are already watching for a potential third wave as the government seeks to step up its large-scale inoculation program by increasing vaccine production.
The chief scientific adviser to the Indian government, K. Vijay Ragavan, said this month that a third wave was “inevitable given the higher levels of the circulating virus.”