South Asia and Beyond

‘Current Data Suggests Omicron Will Not Be As Severe As The Delta Variant’

NEW DELHI: A mathematical model developed in India has proved helpful in gauging the likely impact of the Omicron variant of the Covid virus. Prof. Manindra Agrawal of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Kanpur, says the SUTRA (Susceptible Undetected Tested & Removed Approach) model will help not only with the Coronavirus but other public health issues also.

Speaking on The Gist show, Prof. Agrawal says SUTRA relies on Covid data generated by the government and its agencies. Based on current data, the model suggests that the Omicron variant could peak around Jan-Feb next year and will not be as severe as the Delta strain.

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The data also suggests that comprehensive lockdowns only postpone the inevitable. This happened in India last year when a nationwide lockdown helped bring down Covid numbers, but by the later part of the year, the Delta variant exacted a heavy toll. In other words, mild lockdowns that keep economic activity going also help build immunity in the population.

Tune in for more in this conversation with Prof. Manindra Agrawal.