As the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic shows a declining trend in India, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) researchers have predicted that the fourth wave may set in around June 22 in the country.
According to the research conducted by IIT-K researchers, India is likely to witness the fourth covid-19 wave in mid to late June, and the surge is to continue for about 4 months. However, the severity of the wave will depend on the emergence of new variants, vaccination status, and administration of booster doses.
This research was led by Sabara Parshad Rajeshbhai, Subhra Sankar Dhar and Shalabh of IIT Kanpur’s Mathametic department using a mixture of Gaussian distribution based on the data on Zimbabwe.
This IIT-K study has been published as a pre-print in MedRxiv and is yet to be peer-reviewed.
According to the researchers, 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.
“Therefore, the fourth wave starts from June 22, 2022, reaching its peak on August 23, 2022 and ends on October 24, 2022,” they said. “Moreover, the 99% confidence interval for the date, when the curve will reach the peak, is approximately from August 15, 2022 to August 31, 2022,” the researchers added.
The study said that there is a good chance that a new variant of coronavirus may emerge and can have an intense impact on the whole analysis. “The intensity of the impact will depend on various factors like infectibility, fatality etc,” the authors said.
The authors also highlighted that the effect of vaccinations – first, second or booster dosage can also play a significant role on the possibility of infection.
Other than the IIT-K study, another research has shown that the next Covid-19 variant can emerge in 2 different ways. The authors also emphasised that there is no guarantee that the new variant will be less severe than the previously identified ones, they pointed out.
First, Omicron continues to evolve, creating some sort of Omicron-plus variant that is worse than BA. 1 or BA.2. The second possibility is that a new, unrelated variant appears, Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle told the scientific journal Nature.