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Published On: Sun, Oct 18th, 2020

India Has Crossed COVID-19 Peak, corona virus will end in India by February 2021

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govt panelNEW DELHI : India has crossed the COVID-19 peak and should be able to contain the spread of virus by the end of February 2021, a government-appointed panel of scientists and doctors said on Sunday. However, the onset of winter and upcoming festivals may increase susceptibility to the infection and laxity at this point can again lead to a spike.
The committee also underlined that 30 per cent of the population in India has developed immunity against the deadly infection. It also sounded warning bells that the onset of winters combined with the upcoming festive season can lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases across the country.
Relaxation in safety measures can lead to a significant rise. It can be as much as “upto 26 lakh cases within a month,” the committee said, adding that only 30 per cent of the population has developed immunity so far.
There is some evidence that large gatherings cause rapid spread, the committee said, pointing to Kerala, where after the celebration of Onam festival from August 22 to September 2, a sharp rise was observed September 8. The infection probability increased by 32 per cent and the effectiveness of medical response dropped by 22 per cent for Kerala in September, the committee said.
The committee underscored that protective measures must continue. “If all protocols are followed, the pandemic can be controlled by early next year with minimal active cases by February end,” the panel has concluded.
Meanwhile, Niti Aayog Member V K Paul today acknowledged that number of new coronavirus cases and deaths have declined in the last three weeks, but did not rule out the possibility of a second wave of infections in the winter season.
Paul, who is also the chief of an expert coordinating efforts to tackle the pandemic in the country, in an interview to PTI said that once the COVID-19 vaccine is available, there will be enough resources to deliver as well as make it accessible to the citizens.
“In India, the new coronavirus cases and number of deaths have declined in the last three weeks and the pandemic has stabilised in most of the states.
The total number of infections by the time the epidemic ends, could be about 105 lakh (10.5 million). The current figure is 75 lakh. In the absence of lockdown in March, India’s total deaths could have exceeded 25 lakh by August this year, the committee said. Currently, the country has logged 1.14 lakh fatalities.
Lockdowns, however, are now undesirable and should be in place only in narrow geographical areas. The country, the panel said, should now move towards full resumption of activities.
(With PTI Inputs).




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