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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Is Odisha going to witness the COVID revolution in May? Well, when the COVID count in Odisha has grown by nearly 3-times (2.66) during the last 14 days, a recent prediction by IIT Delhi on Odisha COVID numbers for the month of May simply sounds scary.

The IIT-D prediction is Odisha will see a massive 813 COVID-19 cases by May 24, notwithstanding the lockdown in force. And if Odisha government takes a policy decision to allow unrestricted inter-district movement, then the COVID tally could cross the 1000 mark to touch 1,121 on the same date. The confirmed COVID cases in the State today stands at 162.

The more distressing revelation is Odisha may see a COVID tally much higher than the estimated count of 813, despite lockdown in place. The pace at which COVID positives are being reported in the State every day, it seems Odisha may even exceed the anticipated n-COV number.

The major reason behind believing so is State has already overshot the predicted COVID numbers by a team of IIT-Delhi researchers.

Sample this. The IIT-D model, which the researchers claim are based on the AICSEIR model considering the COVID data as of April 20th, 2020, had projected that the total COVID count in Odisha could touch 121 on the first of May. But the actual nCoV confirmed cases in the State on the very day stood higher at 154.

It has been observed that COVID cases in Odisha toppled the IIT-Delhi's projected numbers since April 16. The projected number on April 16 was 40, but the actual count then in the State jumped to 60.

Since then, the gap between the projected and actual number has grown wider. And if the current pace of growth continues, despite having lockdown, the actual confirmed cases in the State have the potential to touch the 4-digit mark of 1000 on May 24.

What lends credence to IIT-Delhi prediction is, in a span of 4-days, COVID footprint is recorded in as many as three districts. Ganjam is the new district on Odisha's COVID map today.

Moreover, when active COVID cases in the State during the last 15-days have almost tripled (2.9 times), the recovered case count could record only a double. The number of active cases on April 19 was 61, it touched 160 on May 2.  Similarly, the recovered cases in the State on April 19 were 24, the count on May 2 stood at 56.   

The COVID prognosis model is developed by a team of IIT Delhi researchers, namely,  Hargun Singh Grover, Ravinder, Amreen Jan, Sourabh Singh, Suresh Bishnoi and Prof NM Anoop Krishnan, in collaboration with Prof Hariprasad Kodamana (CAPS, IITD) and Prof. Amit Sharma (ICGEB, New Delhi).

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