India is reporting an increase in the daily Covid cases since February, “clearly indicating a second wave”, a report by the State Bank of India (SBI) said. The report added that the second wave may last up to 100 days, counting from February 15 onwards, it said.
The report said that based on trends till March 23, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country in the second wave is expected to be around 25 lakh, NDTV reported.
“India is witnessing second wave of infection beginning February 2021, with daily new cases rising again. Pan-India total cases in the second wave 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 report said.
It said that the localised lockdowns and restrictions have been “ineffective” against Covid and that mass vaccination is the “only hope” to win the battle.
“Lockdown ineffective, mass vaccination is the only hope. This is visible in case of many states including Maharashtra and Punjab,” it said.
The SBI report further said that the business activity index, based on high frequency indicators, has declined in the last week, and the impact of the lockdown or restrictions imposed by certain states might become visible next month.
Increasing the speed of vaccination is the only way to win the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, the report said. It added that from the current 34 lakh vaccination to 40-45 lakh per day would mean that inoculation of citizens over 45 years can be completed in four months from now.
The country registered 53,476 fresh coronavirus cases in a day, the biggest single-day jump in over five months, data from the Union Health Ministry showed.
The Home Minister on Wednesday expressed concern over the fact that a new “double mutant variant” of the virus has been detected in 18 states in the country in addition to many other strains or variants of concern which have also found abroad.