India’s New Coronavirus Variant 2.5 Times More Transmissible, One Person Can Infect Three Others

According to a statistical model by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, the new variant of the Covid-19 virus prevalent in the second wave is likely to be almost two to two-and-a-half times more transmissible than the previous variant.

The report, quoted by Hindustan Times, states that a person infected with the new strain of the virus is likely to infect over three people they come in contact with.

“The increased R0 is an indicator that the new variant of the virus is much more infectious. This is in line with the rapid spread of the virus in the second wave and more number of people getting infected,” coordinator of the simulation project at TIFR Sandeep Juneja told Hindustan Times.

The study also says that covid-19 fatalities are likely to reduce considerably in Mumbai by June 1 provided the vaccination drive continues without any hindrance and there is no onset of a new Covid variant.

The mathematical model closely analyzing the reasons for the second Covid wave in Mumbai also predicted that covid fatalities will peak in the first week of May but by July 1 the city will be in a position to open schools.

Emphasizing that projections might be prone to error, the model further claimed that a variant of the deadly covid virus was already in circulation in the state of Maharashtra in February but it was only after local train services resumed operations that the virus found a conducive environment to spread and led to the onset of the second wave.

As per TOI, the analysis also attributed the opening up of the economy around February to the exponential growth and spread of the Covid variant.

As per govt data, the second Covid wave affected 2.3 lakh Mumbaikars and claimed 1,479 lives in April alone. On May 1, the city registered 90 deaths, the highest single-day toll in the year 2021.

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