IIT-Kanpur hasn’t forecast fourth wave of COVID-19: Centre

It’s an independent study by a team of researchers, says Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informs Rajya Sabha.

Updated - March 23, 2022 12:14 am IST

Published - March 22, 2022 09:15 pm IST - NEW DELHI

MoS for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar. File

MoS for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar. File | Photo Credit: KAMAL NARANG

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, has clarified that they have not forecasted another wave of COVID-19. It was an independent study done by a team of researchers from their Department of Mathematics and Statistics who have prepared a mathematical model and submitted the same to a pre-print server for experts to comment on. The same was not peer-reviewed, the Health Ministry submitted in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Responding to a question by member Brijlal, Minister of State in Health Ministry Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar said that modelling studies were based on certain set of inputs, either based on real world scenarios or approximations of those inputs that were not available (which may vary in accuracy according to the technique used). “Often these studies involve taking a relatively small actual sample and extrapolate the result to the entire population,” she explained.

While this may achieve near accurate results for a small homogenous country/region, such techniques had failed repeatedly to give reliable results for a large, diverse population, she noted.

Given the emergence of variants of COVID-19 virus with variable transmissibility and other public health implications, the Health Ministry said it was closely following COVID-19 trajectory globally and in the country along with various expert committees.

In addition, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) of laboratories was undertaking whole genome sequencing of samples for timely detection of mutant variants of virus.

‘Requisite support provided’

The stakeholders were being provided requisite technical and financial support to enhance preparedness and response capacities against COVID-19 and other public health emergencies. “Funding support has been provided to the States/UTs for health system strengthening to meet any exigency due to resurgence of cases in the country through the National Health Mission, State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) and Emergency COVID-19 Response and preparedness packages,’’ the Minister observed.

Regular review meetings were being undertaken with all relevant stakeholders, including subject experts and the States, to review the preparedness and response measures to address the pandemic following the five-fold strategy of test-tack-treat-vaccinate and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour.

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