The third wave of COVID-19 could be as severe as the second wave and could last for an average duration of 98 days, according to an SBI report.
However, the number of covid-related deaths can be reduced by increasing vaccinations and improvement of health infrastructure, it noted.
India reported 1,32,788 new coronavirus infections taking the country's tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,83,07,832, while the daily positivity rate has further dropped to 6.57 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday. The death toll climbed to 3,35,102 with 3,207 fresh deaths.
The five-page SBI report pointed out that the average duration of the third wave for developed countries was 98 days as against 108 days in the second wave. If the country is better prepared for the third wave, “the decline in serious case rate (patients that require oxygen, intensive care unit beds, etc) will lead to fewer deaths," the SBI Ecowrap report said.
“We find that if serious cases decline from 20 per cent to 5 per cent (due to better health infrastructure and rigorous vaccination) in the third wave, the number of deaths in the third wave could significantly reduce to 40,000, as compared to the current deaths of more than 0.17 million."
The Health Ministry also said that more than 1.64 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered.
The 3,207 new fatalities include 854 from Maharashtra, 490 from Tamil Nadu, 464 from Karnataka, 194 from Kerala, 175 from Uttar Pradesh, 137 from West Bengal and 104 from Andhra Pradesh.
A total of 3,35,102 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 96,198 from Maharashtra, 29,554 from Karnataka, 24,722 from Tamil Nadu, 24,299 from Delhi, 20,672 from Uttar Pradesh, 15,678 from West Bengal, 14,649 from Punjab and 13,077 from Chhattisgarh.
The active cases were recorded below 20 lakh for the second consecutive day, the data updated at 8 am showed. Also, 20,19,773 tests were conducted on Tuesday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 35,00,57,330, while the daily positivity was recorded at 6.57 per cent. It has been less than 10 per cent for nine consecutive days.
The weekly positivity rate has declined to 8.21 per cent. The active cases have reduced to 17,93,645 comprising 6.34 er cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 92.48 per cent. A net decline of 1,01,875 cases has been recorded in the COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Human Rights Commission has issued more advisories to various ministries and states on the adverse impact faced by labourers and migrant informal sector workers.
The country has been reeling under a devastating second wave of the pandemic since April, triggering lockdowns in states and Union Territories to combat COVID-19.
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced rationalisation of the rates of COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals which is expected to give relief to patients in rural areas.
The earlier rates, prescribed by the government during the first wave of the pandemic, were based on the rates prevalent in Mumbai, said health minister Rajesh Tope.