What happened to India’s summer and autumn waves? After suffering a large surge with the emergent Indian variant (i.e., Delta) in the spring, India has defied modellers’ predictions by remaining very quiet since.
In August, Rajib Dasgupta, Chair of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at Jawaharlal Nehru University, wrote for the Conversation about the “likely” imminent new autumn surge.
With about 40,000 cases and 400 deaths each day as of mid August, a new uptick is likely in the cards. The Indian states experiencing most of these new cases are those with relatively lower sero-prevalence, ranging between 50% and 70%. The 400 million sero-negative pool – that is people who have not been infected or had the vaccine – continues to be a large vulnerable group.
Forecasting by modellers indicates a third wave beginning in August and peaking at 100,000 to 150,000 infections a day by October. An alternative projection expects the peak in cases going until November.
It’s October now and the reality, of course, is a low level of infections since June and no new surge throughout summer and autumn so far. Below is the graph showing the predictions from the modelling of Mathukumalli Vidyasagar and Manindra Agrawal of the Indian Institute of Technology that Rajib Dasgupta cites above. I have added in the line of actual ‘cases’, which shows that they have trended well below the ‘optimistic’ scenario since the moment the prediction was made.