India will almost triple its coronavirus disease outbreak over the next month in more than 800,000 cases after it has given up an expensive lockdown.
The predicted estimates of the University of Michigan data scientists are expected to put India short of Brazil, currently the second worst-affected nation in the world, and to overtake the Latin American country with its large population of around 1.3 million billion and the ongoing relaxation of steps to curb the virus.
“You cannot see the peak, it’s been pushed further in time,” said Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Michigan who is part of the team that’s modeling India’s epidemic. “I wish I could be more positive but I think it’s going to be really hard over the next couple of months,” he said.
India tried a nationwide lockdown at the end of March, at a relatively early stage of its detected outbreak. While the measures slowed transmission somewhat, they didn’t flatten India’s infection curve as they have in other, developed nations.
The shutdown has actually driven India into the first full-year economic contraction in more than four decades, leaving millions unemployed and forcing the government to slow down this month. Since then, there have been more than ten thousand daily cases, with a total number of 343,000 in total trailing only America, Brazil, and Russia.
With lockdowns that are too expensive to continue and the rise of new cases each day too enormous to implement South Korea and Germany’s test-and-trace strategy, India must now focus on limiting casualties and hoping that people will practice social distancing themselves.