HYDERABAD: With Telangana well into the beginning of the third wave, a new statistical model suggests that the State will see its peak between the third and fourth week of January, around Sankranti. The model has been developed by researchers Professor Siva Athreya of the Indian Statistical Institute and Professor Rajesh Sundaresan of IISC, Bengaluru.
It analyses three different scenarios of the extent of the impact of the Omicron-induced third wave. It is called the SEIR Model with vaccination which takes into account the contacts, recovery and incubation period seen in the Omicron wave in South Africa and applies it to the Indian scenario. According to the researchers, there are three scenarios wherein either 30 per cent or 60 per cent or 100 per cent of the population could get infected and this is based on past infection, vaccination and immunity waning. In the worst-case scenario where 100 per cent of the population is susceptible, Omicron has a contact rate of 1.41 times of Delta.
Between 6K-14K cases/day
For Telangana, the most optimistic scenario would be only 30 per cent population susceptible, which roughly translates into 6,000-7,000 cases during the peak. When the population susceptible is increased to 60 per cent, there may be 13,000-14,000 cases in the peak. In the worst-case scenario, when the 100 per cent population is susceptible, the peak will rise exponentially to 22,000-23,000 cases per day.
The worst Telangana has seen till now has been 10,000 cases for two days during the peak of the second wave in May 2021 and two of the three scenarios in Omicron surpass that.
Swift, short wave
However, as typical of Omicron, the wave is going to be a short but rapidly growing one. The same prediction shows that by the first week of February, cases will start falling and by March, they will plateau completely. Only in case, 100 per cent of the population is affected the wave will begin waning by February second week. What makes this data more reliable is that its prediction in the previous week has been almost similar to the current daily case-load.
Another part of this model further shows the increasing R or Reproductive value of the virus. This is rising above 1, which is not a good sign and implies a higher possibility of infection.