Covid-19. This is not just a name of a pathogen but thousands of miseries. Worldwide public health crisis, economic meltdown, inflation, job loss and rise in domestic violence and suicide rate are just some of them.
Like the rest of the world, India spent half the year battling the pandemic. It’s been a long hard haul and it’ll continue to be so, predict experts. So when will the pandemic end India?
Let’s try to understand through 5 direct questions
1. When will the pandemic end in India?
Let’s be clear about one thing. According to health experts, there is no definite answer yet, when will the pandemic end in India. The virus is raging in its own schedule and pace in different countries.
We have seen the Covid-19 curve going flat in countries like Germany, Italy, France and Spain before the virus wreaked havoc for two to three months. Whereas, Norway, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland achieved success in containing the pandemic quite early and without much damage. One of India’s renowned epidemiologist Jayaprakash Muliyil told The Wire that the method of blocking the virus and eliminating it has been a success only in a few small countries. But in bigger countries, the virus will stay and therefore, the population should learn to live with it while simultaneously heading towards herd immunity.
2. Herd immunity will be India’s answer to Covid-19?
Experts believe that ultimately 50% of India’s total population will be infected eventually BUT there’s nothing to be worry about. Because this is how the country will start developing the herd immunity and hence, the sooner we reach that phase, the better for us. Experts like Harvard professor Ashish Jha and director of Centre for Disease Dynamics Ramanan Laxminarayan predicted in the similar lines. According to them, India may see a total of 200 million cases by September.
But this huge figures are nothing to be scared about, rather they only indicate the country’s recovery from the pandemic.
3. How will the process of herd immunity start?
Experts tell us that it has already started in some small pockets of the country. Herd immunity is a stage where half the population of an entire country is already immune to the disease. The details of the serological survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research establish this fact only that India can contain Covid-19 by building herd immunity. That’s the only way out with a vaccine to reach us in another 8 to 10 months.
4. When will India witness the peak of infections?
There’s been a lot of focus on this, when will we have the peak. Different studies have predicted different peak timings for India. Where a Singapore-based study said the virus will be eliminated by June, another research done using AI claimed that last of new cases will occur by July end. However, the most trusted claim so far is that the entire country may not have one nationwide peak, rather it will happen in different parts in different time. As Muliyil predicted that Chennai will reach its peak in August, while Delhi even before Chennai. We can expect the virus to die down eventually following the peaks.
5. What about testing facilities?
Given the present situation, experts suggest that the testing facilities should be ramped up to ensure not only new infections, but also restrict the mortality rate. They also advise increasing serological surveys so that we get a clearer picture about when will we reach the herd immunity stage.
It is difficult to predict when will the pandemic end in India if you compare the situation based on the outbreak’s nature in European countries or that of the US. Every nation has its unique experience in terms of the virus’s spread, containment and elimination. For India, the situation is likely to improve from October onwards, suggest the latest predictions by experts.