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Told Modi govt in March second Covid wave afoot, expect peak in mid-May: Expert panel chief

National Covid-19 Supermodel Committee's current projections indicate that by early next week, second Covid wave is expected to peak at around 4 lakh cases, give or take 20,000.

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government was informed that a second Covid-19 wave was “afoot” and expected to peak around the middle of May, ThePrint has learnt.

According to the head of National Covid-19 Supermodel Committee, M. Vidyasagar, professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, the panel gave “informal inputs starting around the first week of March, and gave a formal input on April 2nd”.

“We highlighted that a second wave is afoot, and that is expected to peak around the middle of May,” he told ThePrint, adding that “we highlighted that we were far more confident about the dates of the peak, rather than the values of the peak.”

“Therefore, any attempts to combat the second wave should pay-off in the short-term,” he said.

This comes at a time when the country is witnessing a critical situation with a rapidly increasing case burden sending hundreds to hospitals and morgues.

On Thursday alone, India reported 3.86 lakh new infections and 3,498 new deaths, data from the health ministry showed.

Such has been the quick increase that hospitals and medical centers have been struggling to ensure every patient receives critical care such as oxygen and medicines, while the government has struggled to keep pace in the national vaccination programme, with states complaining of shortages. The third phase of the vaccination programme, which makes everyone aged 18 and above eligible for the shots, is set to kick off on 1 May.

The three-member National Covid-19 Supermodel Committee was formed by the central government to make projections about the spatial and temporal spread of the pandemic. Apart from professor M. Vidyasagar, the panel includes professor Manindra Agrawal of IIT Kanpur, and Lt. Gen. Madhuri Kanitkar, deputy chief of Army Medical Services.


Also read: If you claim India’s Covid death toll is 2x govt figure, it’s understandable. But not 10x


Second wave far bigger than expected

According to Prof. Vidyasagar, making specific policy suggestions is not within the panel’s mandate.

“When we made our report, we wanted to suggest that the primary emphasis must be on quick response,” he said. However, he added that “the second wave has been far bigger than what we had expected”.

“The peak values are much higher. However, the dates of the peak have not only proven to be accurate, but we have actually moved the dates of the peak forward to 3-5 May.”

While Vidyasagar believes that the government was never in denial about the second wave, he said, “I guess the government was also caught by surprise by the ferocity of the second wave.”


Also read: More people died of Covid in Delhi in last 4 days than in Mumbai since March


India likely to hit peak next week

According to the panel’s current projections, the seven-day moving average of daily cases is expected to peak by early next week, at around 4 lakh, give or take 20,000 cases.

“We do not directly estimate the number of deaths, but at current levels, the number of daily fatalities would be around 4,000,” he said.

“Please note that the case fatality ratio in the second wave is lower than in the first. That has been true in other countries as well,” he added.

In a tweet posted Thursday, fellow panel member Prof. Manindra Agrawal put out a prediction reiterating that the “peak value expected to be around 3.9 lakhs (sic)”.

“It is 7-day average value, so highest daily value may cross 4 lakhs … As predicted earlier, peak expected to arrive during May 4-8,” he said.


Also read: DD News is Covid ‘positive’. It shows a sanitised version of the pandemic


 

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Governament is partly responsible ..I agree.but to a large extent PEOPLE of INDIA are responsible as they have bought this upon themselves by not following mask discipline,sanitization and taking this virus too lightly by crowding and becoming super spreaders.
    I was travelling and on the flight we had to request people to wear mask and this callous attitude has costed us dearly…And of course vaccine hesitancy

  2. Every citizen was educated since last 14months on maintaining distance , sanitising , wearing mask , avoiding crowded places. But typical of us v became complacent no sooner v saw LITTLE downtrend. Now v blame governments!! This is sic. Adding to this media are exploiting situation & write illogical things despite many experts suggesting the explosion of virus spread was not expected at this rate

  3. Not prepared although experts had warned.
    Lack of oxygen/ beds/ medicines.
    Horrible situation. No study. No action on experts opinion. Paid attention on other areas which was not related with life saving rather to increase cases.

  4. Not prepared although experts had warned.
    Lack of oxygen/ beds/ medicines.
    Horrible situation. No study. No action on experts opinion. Paid attention on other areas which was not related with life saving rather to increase cases.

  5. You just do election campaign, people die or live, it doesn’t matter to you

  6. Mr.Kumar the major concern is about the health of the people not about the news for or against B.J.P. When P.M . Cabinet ministers or C.M. are not aware of the damage and loss of life due to lack of medical assistance the so called beaurocrates should have suggested them.It is astonishing that how these senior officers are distracted and sidelined.This comes under dereliction of their duties.One should feel for this.The lives of common and poor people are at great risk and not the political parties or the government.As learned persons let us focus on the future of our great country and not on future of political parties.

  7. When priority of all political party is election.Public health comes last,All political party should pledge nation first and try to save life of its citizen.We can and we will defeat corona by creating awareness and very good coordination between government and private body .

  8. Hello sir, listen Modi January 2021 statement where he had warned for second wave and asked the states to prepared for that. If u don’t have authentic information please don’t give wrong information already people don’t trust PRINT news. Build up your reputation by writing truth or else like wire, scroll, people will call u dustbin print.

  9. The Print,The Wire,The Quint are not fair news reporter channel.They all are heavily and 100% biased towards BJP govt and specially Modi ji.
    To comment on their news articles is waste of time,energy.
    They can’t see any positive side of Govt.

  10. Dear reader , when a central government busy in winning and buying MLA through out pandemics looking achieving self goal , so what opposition will do . Question will be asked to the person who hold the chair not to the opposition . This govt is anti intellectual , anti science and work like headless chicken . Govt got one year for preparation ,but they were busy showing off fake “vaccine diplomacy”. Now , we are dependant on neighbouring country for help .such a shame and idiot central government . Sorry , indian will suffer in coming days more ,if we sit blindfold .

  11. It is critical time , rather blame game we hve to take smart people’s consideration, fear not for the future & the only aim is to save people by vaccine, mask, social distance & sanitation with lot more confidence

  12. Is there any difference between informal input and formal input? Can a government take decisions of this nature based on informal inputs!

  13. Worst situation in India
    There is no new inventions,always they thinking about election please do something for hospitals this time don’t ask any kind of pm fund
    Because peoples are doing there works at correct time and situation. Please provide free vaccines for patients

  14. Strange why dr harsh vardhan is not promoting coronil now, when the whole country is desperately looking for a way out of this dire situation.

    The last time one saw him, he was pretty emphatic about its benefits. Meanwhile, looks like he failed to read this report lying on his table, and maybe didn’t share it with his excellency, Shri Shri Modi.

  15. Kissan Andolan was even worst for the spread of Covid with concregataion of framers from and to hinterlands. Opposition and the so called liberal media played a ball resulting in stretched resources and diverted focus of the govt. from the primary issue. Where were the enlightened journalists then?

  16. Now if people don’t follow covid regulations Modi is answerable… Great …. Now even media is playing politics 🤪… Don’t know how we
    are going to overcome this checkmate… the print and the wire you guys are really good at breaking the Morales… Keep doing your shit.. but we know that you are shit

  17. Had Govt itself followed covid protocol and asked election commision to get polling in five states in one go the situation I can say with Conviction would have been different. It is entirely the criminal act of the Govt as well as EC of India. Govt has thrown back India into stone age.
    Politicians responsible for the Sin must resign.

  18. Modi has no time for experts. Senior ministers from his govt were busy promoting Coronil while this expert panel from IIT was warning the govt about upcoming second wave. And then ofcourse he had to do all those Vishal rallies in different states. Utter shame!!!

  19. “The Print” Worst media 📺 Paid channel & Paid News.
    1f u read 10 news articles in this “The Print” there will be 8 articles against BJP. I am not a BJP supporter. But news should be fair, honest & genuine. My personal view & opinion

    • who is in power. whoever is in power must be held accountable.
      Do you want Nehru to be blamed or Rahul Gandhi.
      If you think that states are not handling covid properly then read about pandemic act.
      We are in pandemic right now and the center must be held for current situation.
      Please don’t blame The print for telling the truth

    • who is in power. whoever is in power must be held accountable.
      Do you want Nehru to be blamed or Rahul Gandhi.
      If you think that states are not handling covid properly then read about pandemic act.
      We are in pandemic right now and the center must be held responsible for current situation.
      Please don’t blame The print for telling the truth

    • Please show those 10 articles and 8 against BJP. I also follow theprint and it is not ideal but best available. And I am sure it is not anti BJP, truth is it used to praise Modi but recently what this govt has done, I dont think anyone with sane mind can praise Modi. This comment is reply to Kumar’s comments

    • Whom else to point now bjp is the ruling govt man. If you read its blogs before 2014 they will be more on upa. Stay informed.

    • Is the article questioning a party or system. Political party in power will be gge most involved in policies and activities everywhere. Hence, they also get the most criticism. Pl understand how systems work.

    • I have nothing against anyone. I have a principle hear everyone . To be heard it should a reasoned view. Of the calf without reason can be a mischief. Yes I am all ears, please reason out what is wrong with this report.

    • To be heard it should a reasoned view. Of the calf without reason can be a mischief. Yes I am all ears, please reason out what is wrong with this report.

    • Please reason out here what point or data is not right. Reason out thereafter why you are charging PRINT.

  20. It’s appearing in the media for first time. All senior doctors on TV channels have said that they are caught by surprise. Even intelligent journalists have not predicted nor they have released any article or opinion on lackluster preparation. Both center and state governments are responsible for slow preparation.
    Central Government was made to engage with Kisan andolan. Journalists have such a juicy material on hand that they did not cover any other area.
    Opposition also played dirty role by criticising made in vaccine either by calling it BJP vaccine or questioning why emergency use permission had been given to Covaxin.

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