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'India may see fourth Covid wave around June 22'

India may see fourth Covid wave around June 22
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New Delhi: The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India may start around June 22 and peak from mid to late August, a modelling study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur suggests.

The yet-to-be peer-reviewed study, recently posted on the preprint repository MedRxiv, used a statistical model to make the prediction, finding that the possible new wave will last for four months.

The study led by Sabara Parshad Rajeshbhai, Subhra Sankar Dhar, and Shalabh of IIT Kanpur's Department of Mathematics and Statistics shows that the severity of the fourth wave will depend on the emergence of a possible new Coronavirus variant, and vaccination status across the country.

"The data indicates that the fourth wave of COVID-19 in India will arrive after 936 days from the initial data availability date, which is January 30, 2020," the authors of the study said.

"Therefore, the fourth wave starts from June 22, 2022, reaching its peak on August 23, 2022, and ends on October 24, 2022," they wrote in the research paper.

However, the researchers noted that there is always a fair chance that a possible new variant of Coronavirus may have an intense impact on the whole analysis.

The impact will depend on the various factors like the variant's infectibility, fatality, etc, they said.

"Apart from this fact, the effect of vaccinations — first, second or booster dosage may also play a significant role on the possibility of infection, degree of infection and various issues related to the fourth wave," the authors said.

Officials at the World Health Organization recently warned that Omicron may not be the last Covid variant and the next strain could be more contagious.

"The next variant of concern will be more fit, and what we mean by that is it will be more transmissible because it will have to overtake what is currently circulating," said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's COVID-19 technical lead.

The same research team had previously predicted that the third wave of the pandemic in India would peak by February 3, 2022.

The single-day rise in Coronavirus infections fell below 10,000 after two months, with 8,013 cases taking India's total tally to 4,29,24,130, according to Union health ministry data updated on Monday.

On December 28 last year, 9,195 people were infected in a day.

The death toll has climbed to 5,13,843 with 119 daily fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.

The cumulative doses administered so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 177.50 crore.

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