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Highest global COVID-19 contact rate in India

New Delhi: Amid the galloping Covid-19 cases, it turns out that India is witnessing the world’s highest coronavirus contact rate, whereby an infected person is infecting another one every two days. What is worrying is the massive jump in contact rate this month, according to the Indian Supermodel for Covid- 19.

The latest analysis through the model, initiated by the Department of Science of Technology, predicts the peak of the second wave by mid-April, when daily infections will be between 70,000 and 80,000, primarily driven by Maharashtra.

According to scientists analysing the model, the cause of this unexpected jump in contact rate is likely to be a combination of more crowding in public spaces like schools and colleges, markets and public places and public transport and faster spreading mutations. “The contact parameter seen in India is reported nowhere in the world and a massive jump in contact rate is causing the sharp rise in cases all over.

Early March, it was around 0.24 and today it stands at 0.48 (every second day). The spike in many states is primarily due to a significant increase in contact rate,” said Manindra Agrawal, Deputy Director at II T, Kanpur, who is part of the supermodel study. Agrawal expects the second wave peak around April 15-25.

“In Maharashtra, the contact rate has been high for a while (0.38 now though it was around 0.45 when there was no lockdown). The peak will be bigger than during the first wave around 40,000 new infections per day. It is likely to arrive in early April. Even in Punjab, the second peak will be bigger than the first one with around 4,000 new infections per day, but there is a significant increase in reach,” said Agarwal. In Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and TN, the contact rate is around 0.5, while in Punjab it is 0.3.

3,95,192 India’s total active Caseload
1,00,738 Fresh cases in just 2 days
53,476 Fresh cases recorded in the last 24 hours
Double whammy
The reach parameter measures the fraction of the population affected by the pandemic. At 40%, reach is the highest in Maharashtra, making it a double whammy along with high contact rate