A study has indicated that a third Covid-19 wave, if it develops, will be “unlikely” to be as severe as the second wave, despite concerns about the severity of the second wave.
The study, titled “Plausibility of a third wave of Covid-19 in India: A mathematical modeling-based analysis,” was co-authored by a team from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), including its Director General Dr Balram Bhargava, Sandip Mandal, and Samiran Panda, as well as Nimalan Arinaminpathy from Imperial College London’s Department of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology.
The study, which was published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), shows a vaccination ramp-up scenario in which 40% of the population had gotten two Covid-19 vaccine doses within three months of the second wave’s peak. Using the assumption that vaccination reduces infection severity by 60%, the paper claims that this model indicates how vaccination might significantly lower the burden during a probable third wave.
— ICMR -NARI (@IcmrNari) June 25, 2021
“Any third wave seems unlikely to be as severe as the second wave. Rapid scale-up of vaccination efforts could play an important role in mitigating these and future waves of the disease,” the authors said.
A compartmental model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission was utilised to investigate four potential mechanisms for a hypothetical third wave. Waning immunity restores previously exposed individuals to a vulnerable state; emergence of a new viral variant capable of escaping immunity to previously circulating strains; emergence of a new viral variant more transmissible than previously circulating strains; and release of current lockdowns, resulting in new opportunities for disease transmission.
The second Covid-19 wave in India peaked in April and May. During this time, the country had more daily cases and deaths than any other country since the pandemic began early last year. The wave has diminished since then, while daily infections have remained near or above 50,000, and new fatalities have remained above 1,000.