India has witnessed more than 700,000 coronavirus cases and sits third in the list of countries with most cases, but the worst is yet to come if a study by MIT researchers is to be believed.
Researchers at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a study titled “Estimating the Global Spread of COVID-19” have predicted that India could be recording 2.87 lakh positive coronavirus cases each day in February 2021, if a vaccine is not developed soon.
Currently, the United States is the worst-affected country with over 3 million cases and more than 134,000 deaths, but come February India would overtake the US, according to the study. The US by early next year would be recording 95,000 cases, South Africa 21,000 and Iran would be handling 17,000 cases.
The researchers have highlighted the importance of aggressive testing in containing the spread of the virus. They say that delaying or slowing down testing could be fatal for large swathes of the global population.
Their model predicts there could be 1.55 billion cases in 84 countries, but just a 0.1 percent increase in testing per day would significantly reduce cases, down to 1.37 billion.
"Both these scenarios project a very large burden of new cases in the fall (September-November) 2020, with hundreds of millions of cases concentrated in a few countries estimated to have insufficient responses given perceived risks (primarily India, but also Bangladesh, Pakistan, and USA). In contrast, changes in response policies would make a major difference," the study says.
India’s has recorded over 721,000 and more than 20,500 fatalities so far, according to the government’s tally.