SBI Report: Covid Second Wave To Peak In Mid-May

Image Courtesy: The Tribune

According to the economists of India’s largest bank SBI, the second wave of Coronavirus in India could peak around mid-May. India is currently facing an unprecedented hike in covid cases as coronavirus-related deaths have been hitting new highs. India reported a record rise of 379,257 in new coronavirus cases and 3,645 deaths over the last 24 hours, as active cases reached 30.84 lakh.

The report by SBI reads, “However, there is good news amidst all the gloom. It may be noted that India’s recovery rate that was at 97% at the beginning of the second wave, is now at 82.5%. This 14.5% reduction in recovery rate has happened over a period of 69 days.” It also added, “Based on other countries’ experience, we believe India might reach its second peak when the recovery rate will be at 77.8%.”

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“Given that every 1% reduction in recovery rate takes around 4.5 days, it translates into around 20 days from now. Also, our estimate shows that every 1% reduction in recovery rate increases active cases by 1.85 lakhs. Thus we believe the peak of second-wave would come around mid-May with active cases reaching around 36 lakhs at that point of time.”

SBI economists asserted that with the increasing production capacity of vaccines and importing of vaccines from foreign countries, “a total of 1048 million doses can be given in India by October 21 in which 15% of the population can be fully vaccinated and 63% can get their first shot”

According to the report, experiences of other countries have shown that infections stabilise after 15% of the population receive the second dose of COVID.

The report also said that the SBI business activity Index which has been declining in April’21 has now witnessed a new low of 75.7. This level was attained back in August 2020 and now a clear 24.3% down a from-pre pandemic level. “This indicates the disruption caused by increased lockdowns/ restrictions imposed in various states is now having a meaningful impact on economic activity,” the report added.

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With several states now going for partial lockdowns, the economists have revised India’s FY22 growth projection at 10.4% real GDP and 14.2% nominal GDP.