- India is witnessing an increase in the daily new Covid cases since Feb
- 28-page report said localised lockdowns have been "ineffective"
- Report also calls for an increase in the pace of vaccination across state
India is witnessing an increase in the daily new cases of COVID-19 since February, "clearly indicating a second wave", a report by the State Bank of India (SBI) said. The second wave may last up to 100 days, when counted from February 15, it said.
Based on trends till March 23, the total number of coronavirus cases in India in the second wave is expected to be around 25 lakh, the forecast said.
The 28-page report said localised lockdowns or restrictions have been "ineffective" and that mass vaccination is the "only hope" to win the battle against the pandemic.
"Considering the number of days from the current level of daily new cases to the peak level during the first wave, India might reach the peak in the second half of April," it said.
Focusing on the economic indicators, the SBI report said the business activity index, based on high frequency indicators, has declined in the last week, adding that the impact of the lockdown or restrictions imposed by certain states might become visible next month.
The report also calls for an increase in the pace of vaccination across states. Increasing daily vaccination from the current 34 lakh to 40-45 lakh per day would mean that inoculation of citizens over 45 years can be completed in four months from now.
India today recorded 53,476 fresh coronavirus cases in a day, the biggest single-day jump in over five months, data from the Union Health Ministry showed.
The Health Ministry on Wednesday said that a new "double mutant variant" of the coronavirus has been detected in 18 states in the country in addition to many other strains or variants of concern (VOCs) which have also found abroad.
"As we are seeing the early second wave and completing more than one year of our fight against the virus, the focus should be on testing, wearing masks and vaccination," ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said on Wednesday.