2nd COVID Wave Underway in India, Will Peak by April 2nd Half: SBI

The SBI report said that the second wave is likely to last up to 100 days, starting from 15 February.

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As India witnesses a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases, a report released by the State Bank of India on Thursday, 25 March, said that the country is undergoing a second wave of the virus, which is likely to last up to 100 days, starting from 15 February.

The report also said that the second wave will peak by the second half of April.

The report, written by the bank’s chief economic adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh, read “Pan-India total cases in the second wave are expected in the order of 25 lakhs (based on trends in data till 23-Mar). Considering the number of days from the current level of daily new cases to the peak level during the first wave, India might reach the peak in the second half of April,” The Week quoted.

It further said that increasing the pace of inoculations is the only way to win the battle against COVID-19. "Lockdown ineffective, mass vaccination is the only hope. This is visible in case of many states including Maharashtra and Punjab,” The Week quoted the report as saying.

Noting that India is in a better position to handle the health emergency owing to the vaccination drive, it said, "Though global COVID-19 experience shows second wave much higher in intensity than the first wave, the presence of vaccines makes the difference now. Thus India will be able to manage the situation better.”

According to official data released on Thursday, India contributed over one lakh coronavirus infections in just two days with 53,476 new cases in a span of 24 hours, the highest single day rise so far this year.

The report noted that states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Haryana have vaccinated more than 20 percent of people over the age of 60, but also called for an increase in the speed of vaccinations across states, NDTV reported.

Increasing daily vaccination from the present rate of 34 lakh per day to 40-45 lakh would mean that all citizens over 45 years can vaccinated in the next four months.

The report also shed light on economic indicators, saying that the business activity index, based on high frequency indicators, had declined in the last week, and noted that the impact of the lockdowns imposed by some states might become evident in the coming month, NDTV reported.

(With inputs from The Week and NDTV)

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