The number of active cases of COVID-19 has been steadily reducing since late September 2020 and it was then that most public places, schools, colleges, and offices began opening their doors for regular operation.
Despite this, COVID protocols were being maintained with the utmost scrutiny in all such public places. As of February 2021, more than half of all the Indian states reported that there was not a single death due to COVID-19 and this ushered in some much-needed hope.
However, recent studies conducted by scientists at Delhi, using a mathematical model have examined that cases will be at a peak around 20th April 2021.
Reason for the Second Wave
Leading Indian scientists from the most renowned institutes and research centres have suggested that 2 distinctive factors can be used to trace this sudden and sharp rise of active cases in India.
- Opening of Schools and Colleges – Although such institutions are following all the COVID protocols reiterated by the government, there has been little control over public transit and the people, many of whom have not been following the necessary COVID protocols. This has led to several asymptomatic carriers transmitting the virus.
- A New Mutant Strain – The double mutant variant of the virus has caused a significant rise in the number of infected cases. Scientists believe that this strain is about 70 times more contagious than the previous one.
Which States are Likely to be Affected?
With such a sharp rise in new cases of COVID-19, the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been touted to be high-risk states that are already experiencing the effects of the Second Wave.
Despite the rapid testing and the extensive vaccination drives undertaken by the government, the daily caseload of infected people is averaging at around 55,000 as opposed to the few couple thousands last year.
What is the Expected Duration of the Second Wave?
Many states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab have been counting the number of cases peaking either equal to or more than their earlier records from the previous year. Although states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are likely to be still in the infant stages of the Second Wave, state governments have ramped up their testings and inoculation drives. Scientists expect this Second Wave to last more than 2 or 3 months, given the progress of vaccinations of a population that is 1.3 billion strong.