Third Covid Wave May Not Be Too Large, Says TIFR

Mumbai: As per latest reports, 80 per cent of Mumbai’s population has been exposed to Covid-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus, leading to predict strongly that third wave’s peak of COVID-19 will not be too large as compared to the second wave’s peak, where 90 fatalities were registered on May 1.

On the account of the positive projection study by scientists of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), main author Dr Sandeep Juneja (Dean of TIFR’s School of Technology and Computer Science) said, “Reinfections will hold the key in the third wave.”

Further, TIFR reveals, “We also consider a somewhat pessimistic scenario where Reinfections are significant (amongst the recovered 80 per cent, 10 per cent amendable to infections, and if infected, will follow the same disease progression as the first time infected), or a new variant that is 50 per cent more infectious and 50 per cent more virulent that the Delta variant.” They added, “It is the reinfections that may lead to a larger wave.”

Picture: Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, Maharashtra

17 months and counting! The pandemic, which broke from the first wave, could be more vulnerable again due to dropping antibody levels. “The trend would get caught only if we keep an eye on reinfections, and consistently report to the civic authorities,” said scientists of TIFR.

Further, reportedly, a paper by TIFR noted that Mumbai’s peak during the second wave was lower than peaks in Delhi and Bengaluru because of higher levels of previous exposure to the virus. Moreover, factors which can welcome third wave strongly would be poor effectiveness of the vaccine or opening up the city at 60 per cent level but low compliance to Covid-appropriate behaviour. Contrarily Juneja said, “Despite these negative things, the resulting peak is seen to be no larger than what was under the second wave.”

Moving on, last year’s September, TIFR had made similar projections but registered mild reactions from the second wave. Factor of knowledge and transmissibility of a variant before making a projection of a new model is very much important, the authors observed.

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