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2nd wave of Covid may last up to 100 days counted from Feb 15: SBI report

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NEW DELHI, March 25: Even as India is seeing a spike in daily Covid-19 cases, the second wave of the infection might last up to 100 days counted from February 15, a research report from State Bank of India (SBI) says.

While the report estimates the second wave to result in a total of around 25 lakh Covid-19 cases across the country based on trends in data till March 23, it predicts that India might reach the peak in the second half of April.
The report, titled ‘Second wave of infections: The beginning of the end?’, also highlights Covid vaccination as a key tool to combat the pandemic, particularly for India which is seeing the second surge at a time when the vaccination is picking up pace.
“Though global Covid-19 experience shows second wave much higher in intensity than the first wave, presence of vaccine makes the difference currently . Thus India will be able to manage the situation better,” the report said.
Increasing the speed of vaccination is the only way to win the battle against Covid-19 pandemic, the report said.
India is currently seeing a spike in daily cases with 53,476 new cases reported from across the country on Wednesday. Of this, Maharashtra alone accounts for 31,855, followed by Punjab with 2,613 cases.
Meanwhile, India has administered over 5.3 crore vaccine doses.
District wise analysis reveals that cases have again started increasing in top 15 districts, mostly urban, while the spread in rural districts is almost stable.
Though the report says that cases are largely localized and concentrated, it maintains that localised lockdowns or restrictions may not help the situation and this is evident in Maharashtra and Punjab, where cases continue to rise. Instead, it argues that mass vaccination is the only hope.
While the government has now decided to open up Covid vaccination for all above 45 years of age from April 1, irrespective of co-morbidities, the report suggests that if more people come forward for immunization and the daily inoculations increase to 40-45 lakhs from the current maximum level of 34 lakhs, then with this capacity we can vaccinate population above 45 years in 4 months from now, the report says.
It also suggests that states with higher elderly population (>60 years) including Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal – that have vaccinated less percentage of their elderly population – must increase their pace of vaccination.

Till Wednesday, over 2.32 crore people above 60 years of age had received the first dose of vaccine. Besides, around 51.31 lakh doses have also been given to those between 45 and 60 years of age with specified co-morbidities. (Courtesy: Times of India)