If one coronavirus infected person infects four people, by the time that cycle happens 10 times, over 10 lakh people are infected, said the study.
A COVID-19-infected person will pass on the virus to 1.5 persons in the best-case scenario and four persons in the worst-case scenario, said Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in a recent study, according to a News18 report.
The study, based on mathematical modelling, differentiated scenarios of the spread of coronavirus into pessimistic and optimistic scenarios.
In an optimistic scenario, which will be with the intervention from the government, Delhi could see two lakh coronavirus symptomatic cases in over 600 days, the study predicted. However, only 5 percent of these will require ICU admission, which is 10,000 cases over two years in Delhi, said the report quoting Tarun Bhatnagar, a co-author of the study.
In a pessimistic scenario, with government intervention, the national capital may witness as many as 90 lakh symptomatic. Of this, 4.5 lakh may require ICU admission in 45 days, the study said.
The trend will be similar in other metropolitan cities including Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata in terms of numbers varying slightly based on population, Bhatnagar said.
The mathematical model-based study was based on data till late February.
The study, published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, further explained the scenarios of infectiousness of the disease. It said, if a single person passes the disease to four people as mentioned in the worst-case scenario above, it could lead to nearly 10.5 lakh total infections in just 10 interactions or 10 layers.
This means, if one coronavirus-infected person infects four people, over 10 lakh people will be infected by the time that cycle happens 10 times. This figure comes from calculating four to the power of 10, the report suggested.
However, in the mentioned best-case scenario, the total infections in 10 interactions will be 57.
The study also warned about the community transmission of the novel coronavirus cases. According to the study, the Stage 3 transmission of the virus may take anywhere from 20 days to a few months to be visible.
The objective behind issuing the paper was not to look at how many cases would occur but what methods would work, Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, epidemiology head of ICMR, and one of the authors of the paper told the publication.
The conclusion of the study was that social distancing is important to flatten the curve, which could help the healthcare system deal with the influx of patients, said Gangakhedkar.
The number of coronavirus cases has reached 649 in the country with 13 deaths recorded so far.Thus, in an urgent move towards expanding the coronavirus diagnostics in India, the ICMR has invited quotations from manufacturers for supply of kits for the testing of COVID-19.
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