Omicron may cause third wave in India by February: IIT Scientist

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With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading across the country instantly, an IIT-Kanpur scientist suggested that India is likely to see third wave of coronavirus and may report 1-1.5 lakh a day.

Manindra Agarwal, involved in the mathematical projection of trajectory of COVID-19, however, said that the intensity of the third wave of coronavirus is likely to be lower than the deadly second wave.

India had reported more than 4 lakh COVID-19 cases in a day when the deadly second wave was at its peak in May.

“With the new variant, our current forecast is that the country could see the third wave by February but it will be milder than the second wave. So far we have seen that the severity of Omicron is not like the one seen in the Delta variant,” Agarwal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The expert also said that South Africa, where the virus was first detected, has so far not reported a single case of hospitalization.

 

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“It looks like although the new variant has shown high transmissibility, its severity is not like the one seen in the Delta variant,” Agarwal said.

He also suggested that a mild lockdown like night curfew and restrictions on crowding can reduce beta substantially as observed during the spread of Delta.

So far, India has reported 23 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus – ten in Maharashtra, nine in Rajasthan, two in Karnataka, one each in Delhi and Gujarat.

Last month, the WHO named the COVID-19 virus variant detected in South Africa and some other countries as Omicron. The WHO has also classified the Omicron variant as a ‘Variant of Concern’.

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