According to a study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), India’s daily count of COVID 19 cases will be expected to be around 2.87 lakh by February 2021, in case of a missing vaccine.
The study was conducted by MIT professors Hazhir Rahmandad, John Sterman, and PhD student Tse Yang Lim. It used a system called SEIR (Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered) that estimated the transmission of the virus in over 84 countries.
The results predicted that India would be leading the chart of the highest number of daily infections by the end of winter 2021, followed by the US, South Africa, Iran, and Indonesia.
The study took into account three parameters when making the predictions:
1. The rate of testing and response.
2. Whether the testing increases by 0.1% by July 1.
3. If the testing rate remains at the current level but contact rate increases the risk of transmission.
In the first scenario, the cases would rise to 1.55 billion in 84 countries by Spring next year, and to 1.37 billion in case of the second one. In the third scenario, if the contact increases, the cases can total up to 60 crores worldwide.
While these numbers are alarming, they don’t include contact rates, and should be considered as a potential risk and not as “precise predictions of future”. According to professor Rahmandad “The key driver of future trajectories is the extent of distancing, better hygiene, and mask use”. He added, “Communities that bring down risky contacts quickly when the case counts rise are likely to see far fewer cases in the long run.”
The report also stated that infections and death rates in many countries are still being under-reported.