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India May Contain Virus Spread by February, Expert Panel Says

  • Rise in new cases has already peaked, government panel says
  • India’s winter, festival seasons may add to infection burden
A worker sanitizes a film theater in New Delhi.

A worker sanitizes a film theater in New Delhi.

Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

India has already seen a peak in the number of new coronavirus infections and may be able to contain the world’s second-largest outbreak by February, according to a government panel of scientists that attributed a recent slowdown to a harsh national lockdown earlier this year.

In a presentation, the Covid-19 Supermodel Committee led by M. Vidyasagar said a peak in active cases came in late September. The scientists looked at a number of hypothetical scenarios where lockdowns had been avoided or delayed. They concluded that the restrictions imposed in March saved “a lot more misery and lives” and signaled that Covid-19 could be tamed in a few months.