NEW DELHI: IIT scientist Mahindra Agarwal said that the third wave of coronavirus, which includes Omicron, a novel version of SARS-CoV2, might peak in February 2022, with cases reaching up to 1-1.5 lakh per day in the country.
"With the new variant, our current forecast is that the country could see the third wave by February but it will be milder than the second wave. So far we have seen that the severity of Omicron is not like the one seen in the Delta variant," Agarwal stated.
However, he added that cases in South Africa, where several cases of this type have been reported, are being closely monitored, the number of people admitted to hospitals in South Africa has not increased in recent years. A new set of data on the virus and hospitalizations, he said, would contribute in forming a more complete picture.
It looks like although the new variant has shown high transmissibility, its severity is not like the one seen in the Delta variant,"
He suggested that the country should go through mild lockdown like night curfew or restrictions on crowding) can bring down the risk and also it will contribute to reduce the peak.
Sutra-model, which is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), previously predicted that the third wave of coronavirus might hit the country by October if a new variety appears that is more virulent and transmissible than the Delta.
However, there was no new version until the end of November. The forecast was then pushed back to November. The Covid-19 virus strain discovered in South Africa and other countries was called Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 26.
The Omicron variation is likewise a 'Variant of Concern,' according to the WHO. Experts have speculated that the virus may have certain unique traits as a result of its genetic alteration.
So far, India has reported 23 instances of the Omicron type, including 17 on Sunday: nine people from Rajasthan's capital, Jaipur, seven people from Maharashtra's Pune area, and a fully vaccinated man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania.