New Delhi, Feb 23: According to the projections of the COVID 19 National Supermodel Committee set up by the Department of Science and Technology, the number of active cases will drop to the low tens of thousands by the end of March. The research was carried out by Chennai Mathematical Institute, CSIR and IIT Hyderabad. The research also suggests that, in order to see an end to the pandemic, it is essential for the rest of the world also to be vaccinated as quickly as possible.
The available data on the progression of the COVID 19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, indicates that the number of infections in India peaked sometime in Sep 2020, and has been consistently declining ever since. From a maximum of 97,655 daily new cases on Sep 11, 2020, the daily new case count is 11,924 by first week in Feb 2021, with half of it from Kerala. According to the projections of the 'COVID 19 National Supermodel Committee' that the Department of Science and Technology has set up, the number of active cases will drop to the low tens of thousands by the end of March.
The acquired data thus indicates only the end of the first phase of the battle against the virus. It is crucial to ensure that the number of cases does not start increasing again, as it has in many countries such as Italy, the UK, and the USA. According to both serological surveys as well as model predictions, a substantial fraction of India’s population currently has immunity against the virus, coupled with some natural form of immunity. However, it also needs to be comprehended that although the current evidence is suggestive of long lasting immune memory, the immunity afforded by the presence of antibodies might be expected to last for only several months and not longer.
The most reliable longer-term protection is provided through vaccination. It has been suggested recently that vaccination offers much stronger immune response than natural infection, and therefore is the key to control the spread of the disease. It has been further suggested that the spread and mutation of the virus needs to be stopped immediately and effectively. In order to achieve that, it is not enough that everyone is vaccinated, only in India.
In order to witness an end to the pandemic, it is essential for the rest of the world to be vaccinated as well, as quickly as possible. India is well-poised to meet not just its own vaccine requirements, but also that of the world at large, in the critical area. The research also suggests that India’s 'vaccine diplomacy' of being the supplier of choice for the world’s vaccine demands is well-placed and offers hope for the global community.