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India past Covid peak
Can control pandemic by Feb: Expert panel
♦ Covid can be controlled by early next year with minimal active symptomatic infections by February-end
♦ Upcoming festival and winter season may increase the susceptibility to infection
♦ Relaxation in protective measures can lead to a significant rise, up to 26 lakh infections within a month
♦ 30% population are projected to have antibodies at present
♦ Cumulative mortality projected to be less than 0.04% of total infected
New Delhi: A government-appointed scientific committee has said the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have peaked and is now on the decline and is likely to run its course by February next year.
The committee, headed by Professor M Vidyasagar of IIT Hyderabad, has used computer models to map the trajectory of the pandemic in the country. Its key finding has been that the disease is likely to have peaked in the middle of September and the total number of infections in India is unlikely to exceed 106 lakhs. So far, 75 lakh people in India have been infected, of which nearly 66 lakhs have recovered.
The committee claimed that the lockdown imposed in March has had a powerful impact on slowing down the spread of the disease in the country. In the absence of the lockdown, the death count would have gone up to 25 lakhs, it said.
As of now, 1.14 lakh people have died in India because of the disease. However, further lockdowns are 'undesirable', the committee has recommended since they are unlikely to have any significant impact.
The committee has said the upcoming festival season, and the approaching winters, might 'increase the susceptibility' of the people to this infection, and therefore, has recommended that current protective measures must be continued.