Covid management possible by early ’21

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 18

Top government experts today said India can control the Covid pandemic by early next year if everyone follows safety protocols with 10.6 million confirmed cases projected until February next. India has 74,94,551 cases as of today.

Led by Prof M Vidyasagar of IIT-Hyderabad, the Covid India National Supermodel Committee, set up by the Centre, said the Covid pandemic had peaked but cautioned of active cases surging to 26 lakh if people became lax during festivities. Current active cases are below 8 lakh.

Second wave can’t be ruled out: Niti Aayog

The number of new coronavirus cases and deaths has declined in the past three weeks as the spread of the pandemic has stabilised in most of the states, Niti Aayog Member VK Paul said on Sunday but did not rule out the possibility of a second wave of infections in the winter season.

The committee said 30% people are projected to have developed antibodies to the virus as of today. The Central panel estimated 14% people with antibodies at August-end as against 7% projected by the ICMR. Prof Vidyasagar said 30% prevalence was good news and the reason why new cases were dropping.

Mandated to study the efficacy of the lockdown, the panel found that in the absence of the lockdown, active cases could have peaked to 140 lakh in June with 26 lakh deaths by August-end as against under eight lakh cases in September with one lakh deaths.

“Without the lockdown, the peak would have been 15 times higher than now. National lockdown lowered the peak load, pushed the peak to September and geared health systems to respond better. Had the lockdown been imposed from April 1 to May 1, 40 to 50 lakh peak active cases are projected by June with 7 to 10 lakh deaths by August-end,” Vidyasagar said adding total cases could have been 204 lakh by February 2021 without the lockdown.

Community transmission limited: Health Minister

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said community transmission was restricted to certain districts in a limited number of states, clarifying “this is not happening across the country”.

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