Second Covid Wave To Peak By June: CLSA

New Delhi:  Drawing parallels to the second wave of Covid in 12 countries, foreign brokerage CLSA has predicted a peak in daily case additions for the ongoing wave to broadly happen in May for Maharashtra and June for overall India.

A report by CLSA said this should pave the way for some relaxations in lockdown rules in Maharashtra by mid-May to mid-June, which may be seen as a playbook for the rest of India.

This, along with a pick-up in vaccinations and comforting management commentary during the ongoing results season, should allay the worst investor fears about the second wave over the coming weeks, it added.

India’s total tests, at 20 per cent of the population, is well below median of 50 per cent for key countries. This may suggest a higher level of underreporting of cases than other nations which also means the population with antibodies may be much higher than the reported cases, the report said.

The report delved into the detail from 12 countries which saw a notable second wave of Covid-19 to find trends in determining how this second wave may progress and end in India.

“Our findings show the 7DMA of daily case addition during the second wave in these countries to have peaked when reported cumulative infections hit a median level of 2.5 per cent of the population in the respective country (range of 1.3 per cent-6.6 per cent),” the report said.

Similarly, this peak coincided when incremental cases from the start to the peak of the second wave hit an equivalent of 2 per cent of the population (range of 0.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent), it added.

In these countries, it took a median time of nearly four months for the second wave peak from the bottom of the first wave (range of 2 to 6.5 months). At the peak of the second wave, the 7DMA of percentage positive cases in these countries hit a median level of 14.4 per cent, with the exception of Mexico (46.6 per cent).

The second wave has just crossed the four-month mark for Maharashtra but it has been a lesser 70 days for India. Therefore, India may get to this median mark of four months by mid-June 2021 and India ex-Maharashtra by end-June.

Based on the current 7DMA of case additions, reported infections will hit the median level of 2.5 per cent by mid-Jun 2021 in India while Maharashtra has already crossed this mark.

At the same pace, India may take nearly two months to get to incremental infections equal to 2 per cent of its population, from 0.5 per cent currently, during the second wave.

Maharashtra is currently at 1.8 per cent and should get to this level in less than a week, but India ex-Maharashtra may see a peak only by the second week of July 2021 at the current pace of cases.

India’s 7DMA percentage positive of tests (20 per cent) has already crossed the median percentage positive.

Of the 12 countries, only four countries saw a pickup in vaccinations during the 2nd wave. As antibodies can come through vaccinations, an indicative sense of the population with antibodies could be total infections plus people vaccinated with both doses as a percentage of the population, the report said.

While this ignores the overlapping population, this total stood at median level of 9.1 per cent of population at the peak of the second wave for these countries.

India has vaccinated 1.7 per cent of its population with both doses so far. By end May 2021, total cases plus people vaccinated with both doses will cross 9 per cent of the population for overall India as well as India ex-Maharashtra. Maharashtra will reach this level by mid-May.

(IANS)