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India's Covid-19 Peak Still Far Away, Cases May Keep Rising till October: Study

In this representative photo, healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and volunteers walk through a slum.

In this representative photo, healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and volunteers walk through a slum.

The study found that Covid-19 infections could have been lesser by 69% to 97% during the lockdown period, based on factors like the compliance pattern of the people to the curbs.

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A recent study said that India's coronavirus tally may keep increasing until early October, two-and-a-half months later than the initial estimation.

According to a report in Livemint, the two-month-long nationwide lockdown shifted the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in India by 34-76 days, from the previous prediction of July-mid, the study said.

Reports said the study was conducted by ICMR, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and the National Covid-19 Taskforce–Operations Research Group and other international institutes.

But the ICMR has distanced itself from the study, saying it was a “non-peer reviewed modelling” that was “not carried out by ICMR and does not reflect the official position of ICMR.”

The study said that though the lockdown decelerated the spread of the disease, India is now witnessing a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi after the curbs were lifted.

The lockdown in India was first imposed on March 25 and lasted for 21 days, while the second phase of the restrictions began on April 15 and went on for 19 days till May 3. The third phase of the lockdown was in effect for 14 days and concluded on May 17. The fourth phase ended on May 31.

The model discovered that the number of Covid-19 infections could have been lesser by 69% to 97% during the lockdown period, based on factors like the compliance pattern of the people to the curbs, the Livemint report added.

However, the study noted that the cumulative number of infections would remain unchanged by the compliance factor in the long-term.

The study pegged the annual mortality rate from Covid-19 in India at 1.6 deaths per thousands and added that the present resources — ICU beds, isolation beds and ventilators — would only be enough till the third week of September.

As on Monday, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country surged to 3,32,42, with 11,502 fresh infections being reported in the last 24 hours.

Among the states worst-affected by the pandemic, Delhi has the least number of Covid-19 beds with 9,802. Maharashtra, meanwhile, has 17,847 beds, Tamil Nadu 17,500, Gujarat 23,000 and Rajasthan 43,704, the report added.

To overcome the shortage of beds for coronavirus infected patients in Delhi, the Centre has decided to immediately provide 500 railway coaches which will be equipped with all facilities, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday as he held two high-level meetings with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, mayors and commissioners of Delhi's three municipal corporations.

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