The number of COVID cases in India is just the tip of the iceberg and may more than double to 8 lakh by July 15, a forecast by the University of Michigan warned. The numbers will place India right behind Brazil at the third spot.
According to the report, the easing of the lockdown will accelerate the virus spread in India. India has a total of 3.43 lakh cases as of Tuesday, including 9,900 deaths and 1.8 lakh recoveries.
“You cannot see the peak, it’s been pushed further in time,” Bloomberg quoted Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Michigan who is part of the team that’s modeling India’s pandemic. Interestingly, she removed the longer term projections from the team’s website because they were causing people to panic. “I wish I could be more positive but I think it’s going to be really hard over the next couple of months.”
Last week, India surpassed the United Kingdom in terms of coronavirus cases to become the fourth worst-hit country, according to the Worldometer. India is only behind the US (21.8 lakh), Brazil (8.9 lakh) and Russia (5.45 lakh).
India eased its coronavirus-induced restrictions from June after more than two-month long lockdown as the economy slumped into a deep slowdown. While the lockdown did bring down the transmission rate, it failed to flatten the COVID curve in the country.
On the other hand, the lockdown pushed India toward its first full-year economic contraction in over four decades, rendering millions jobless and forcing the Narendra Modi-led government to ease curbs this month.
The cases have been on the rise ever since India actively entered Unlock 1.0. The impending monsoon season and border skirmishes with China, Pakistan and Nepal will add to India's woes to effectively contain the spread of the virus.