India will see multiple waves of COVID-19 infections every few months — but that's not a reason to panic
- There are going to be multiple waves of coronavirus in India and across the world.
- Most epidemiologists believe the lockdown was never going to put an end to coronavirus but rather delay the peak.
- With no vaccine available, the Indian government is now suggesting people learn to live with the virus.
“I will bet on July being our peak month but that’s on an average. Some states like Maharashtra will peak earlier than that. Whereas, Bihar and UP, will peak in July or even later. It is not one peak, there are going to be multiple peaks but regardless we are in for two or three peaks even,” Doctor Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director of The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy told Business Insider as a part of its special series ‘Hangout with BI’.
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Laxminarayan believes the trend is not limited to India and holds true for all countries. “Until we cross over herd immunity or there’s a vaccine, we are destined to have the virus spread,” Laxminarayan added.
Laxminarayan had earlier said India will see about 200 to 300 million cases of coronavirus, of which 4-8 million will be severe cases that will require medical attention.
“The gap between the peak on an average is going to be four months. After the peak infections drop off really fast when you model the virus, it is easier. I can still fit a model in the data that we have from Maharashtra or other states.,” Laxminarayan.
Most epidemiologists suggest lockdown was never going to put an end to coronavirus but rather delay the peak.
Learn to live with the virus
With no vaccine available, the Indian government is now suggesting people learn to live with the virus. India has been under lockdown since March 24 and the government might consider opening the economy. However, the “new normal” is likely to have certain restrictions in place — including wearing a mask when visiting public places.
“We have been able to keep the curve flat, but it’s not something that we can do for long and the other issue is that lockdown cannot be indefinite. We will have to accept that COVID-19 is there to stay and we can’t wait for it to really go away and then lift the lockdown,” Doctor Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences told the Indian Express.
World Health Organization (WHO) said it is hard to predict when the pandemic will be over, but countries should stay positive and collaborate closely.
"We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time, and therefore it is very hard to predict when we will prevail over it," Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said on Wednesday at a press conference in Geneva, Xinhua reported.
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