Delaying COVID-19 peak was important, says govt-appointed panel chief Prof M Vidyasagar as India bends curve

Delaying COVID-19 peak was important, says govt-appointed panel chief Prof M Vidyasagar as India bends curve

Delaying COVID-19 peak was necessary, says govt-appointed panel chief Prof M Vidyasagar as India bends curve

Staying the course would result in a gradual discount in instances, whereas any departure by way of slackening security protocols would disturb this development, the professor who chaired a panel of specialists that labored on India’s COVID-19 “supermodel”, warns

COVID-19 has prompted many mathematical and statistical fashions to map the unfold of the pandemic. A few of these fashions have a look at the unfold of the an infection over time on the native and world ranges. In India, the newest and fittest of those fashions is a current examine commissioned by the Division of Science and Expertise (DST) and carried out by a panel of seven professional scientists from a few of the nation’s greatest tutorial establishments.

The “supermodel”, as DST referred to it, examines numerous parameters such because the timing of the lockdown, various lockdown situations, influence of migrant staff returning to their houses, and the long run course of the pandemic together with the influence of not following security protocols.

Utilizing the mannequin, the professional panel predicted that India has crossed its peak of latest instances in September, and will see minimal instances by February if the present development continues and the competition season does not see an anticipated surge in transmission.

Chaired by professor M Vidyasagar (IIT Hyderabad), the panel additionally contains professor Manindra Agrawal (IIT Kanpur), professor Biman Bagchi (IISc), professor Arup Bose (ISI Kolkata), professor Gagandeep Kang (CMC Vellore), professor Sankar Okay Pal (ISI Kolkata) and Lt Gen Madhuri Kanitkar (HQ IDS MoD).

Primarily based on the mannequin, many predictions have been made of how the COVID-19 pandemic may progress in India. A few of them included various situations of COVID-19 unfold up to now, relying on when the lockdown started. Others have been probably outcomes sooner or later, based mostly on the present development, leisure of lockdown measures, and extra stringent measures. All these predictions have been made utilizing “strong knowledge” publicly out there on the COVID-19 India database.

India’s ‘supermodel’: Some conclusions


  1. Delaying the preliminary lockdown (beginning 25 March) would have made the pandemic extra tough to handle
  2. The precise lockdown noticed over 10 lakh energetic symptomatic instances peaking round finish of September, and one lakh recorded COVID-linked deaths. The No lockdown state of affairs predicts over 140 lakh peak energetic (symptomatic) instances by June, and 26 lakh deaths by finish August.
  3. lockdown from 1 Apr onwards predicted 40-50 lakh peak energetic instances by June and 7-10 lakh deaths by finish of August.
  4. The mass exodus of reverse migration of labourers from Mumbai and Delhi in Might-June didn’t considerably alter general outcomes on the state and nationwide ranges


  1. Extra individuals may contract COVID-19 through the upcoming competition and winter seasons
  2. Stress-free the lockdown/different protecting measures at the moment in place can lead to a steep rise – as much as 26 lakh infections inside a month
  3. District and better stage lockdowns not a lot efficient now
  4. All actions might be resumed supplied correct security protocols proceed to be adopted
  5. If everybody follows these protocols, the pandemic might be managed by early subsequent 12 months with minimal energetic symptomatic infections by February-end

‘Delaying the height was necessary’

In an e-mail interview, professor Vidyasagar, chairman of the DST-appointed COVID-19 panel spoke to GadgetClock concerning the numerous situations that have been predicted by the COVID-19 “supermodel” and what lies forward for the nation within the struggle in opposition to the novel coronavirus. Edited excerpts from the interview:

The panel concluded in its report that the timing of the particular lockdown helped “flatten the curve”. Didn’t the change in development come very just lately, in September, after many surges in instances earlier than it?

Pushing out the height of infections a number of months into the long run, from end-Might or early June to mid-September, is a vital a part of flattening the curve.

Delaying COVID19 peak was important says govtappointed panel chief Prof M Vidyasagar as India bends curve

File picture of professor M Vidyasagar, chairmain of chairman of the DST-appointed COVID-19 panel. Wikimedia Commons

So, can or not it’s mentioned that the worst of COVID-19 transmission is behind us? 

We’ve emphasised repeatedly that the worst is behind us provided that individuals proceed to look at the protection protocols.

Why was an earlier date – 14 Feb, for instance – not included instead timeline to evaluate the effectiveness of the particular lockdown? 

In February, the variety of instances have been tiny. No significant modelling might be accomplished with such small numbers.

Was there a “greatest case” state of affairs mannequin for decreased healthcare burden/efficient pandemic administration? 

Staying the course would result in a gradual discount in instances, whereas any departure by way of slackening security protocols would result in a slower discount in instances.

Will the panel be submitting any extra public experiences (observations/options/suggestions) in direction of India’s pandemic technique going ahead?

As and when wanted, sure.

Any attention-grabbing inferences from the effectiveness of lockdown measures to this point?

The inferences concerning the influence of the lockdown are fairly attention-grabbing by themselves, we consider.

Can we count on an identical evaluation of vaccine distribution preparedness?

Vaccine improvement was not part of our Phrases of Reference.

The SAIR mannequin

One of many methods the unfold of an an infection in a inhabitants might be modelled, makes use of the S-A-I-R (Prone-Asymptomatic-Contaminated-Eliminated) mannequin. It breaks down the inhabitants into broad teams of people, relying on their relationship with the an infection – and importantly, how that relationship modifications over time.

The supermodel for India was made by tweaking this SAIR mannequin, and dividing the inhabitants into 4 comparable teams:

  • Prone – people who find themselves not but contaminated,
  • Asymptomatic – people who find themselves contaminated, however with no or little signs,
  • Contaminated – people who find themselves contaminated with important signs, and infectious,
  • Eliminated – individuals who have been contaminated, however are actually recovered or deceased

The variety of people in every of those classes modifications as a pandemic progresses. The SAIR mannequin tries to seize the change in an infection charge over time, contemplating the modifications within the variety of individuals within the numerous totally different teams.

Affect of festivities on COVID-19 trajectory

The committee’s report additionally appears into previous proof of COVID-19 unfold in giant gatherings, particularly conserving within the thoughts the continuing festive season. Citing the instance of Kerala through the Onam celebrations between 22 August and a couple of September 2020, the report states how this era was adopted by a pointy rise in instances from 8 September within the state.

As per the report, the chance of an infection soared by roughly 32 %, and the effectiveness of medical response dropped by roughly 22 % for Kerala in September. In different phrases, the chance of individuals getting contaminated elevated, and the chance of a affected person getting handled decreases.

India is in the midst of Navratri celebrations already, with Durga Puja simply across the nook, and Diwali arising in November. Kerala might serve for example of why festivities must be subdued, and why the federal government is completely justified in reiterating pointers for bodily distancing and different COVID-19 precautions.

For extra data on the COVID-19 supermodel for India, you possibly can head to the official web site, Professor Vidyasagar’s slides from his media presentation on Tuesday, and the full report of the panel’s findings.

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