As India and 96 other countries are currently dealing with the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus (Covid-19), and a possible advent of a third wave, a recent study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has projected that the wave will be a “ripple” only if there is no significantly rapidly spreading mutant, news agency ANI reported.
According to the ‘Sutra’ model for Covid-19, put together by a team of scientists from the IIT-Kanpur, if a faster-spreading mutant of the SARs-CoV-2 is present, then the magnitude of the probable third wave will be “comparable to the first one.”
Maninder Agarwal, professor of IIT Kanpur, who is part of the ‘Sutra’ team, said that they have put forward three scenarios pertaining to the third wave of Covid-19, according to the ANI report.
Agarwal told ANI that the team has projected an “optimistic” scenario where people’s lives presumably go “back to normal by August,” without the presence of any further mutant of the virus. The second scenario is the intermediate one where it is assumed that Covid-19 vaccination is “20 per cent less effective in addition to optimistic scenarios.” The third scenario is the pessimistic one, he told ANI, where a new 25 per cent more infectious mutant spreads in August.
The ‘Sutra’ analysis put forth that if there is a presence of an immunity escape mutant, all the three scenarios will be nullified.
“First, loss of immunity in the recovered population, second vaccination-induced immunity. Each of these two needs to be estimated for the future. And third, how to incorporate the two in the model,” ANI quoted Agarwal as saying while explaining the immunity escape mutant.
The study projections come amid the World Health Organisation (WHO) warning on Friday that the world is witnessing a very “dangerous period” owing to the rapidly-spreading Delta variant of coronavirus. Talking to the media at a press briefing, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the Delta variant – first identified in India, is now present in at least 98 nations and is fast becoming the dominant strain in many of them.