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MIT professors Hazhir Rahmandad and John Sterman, and PhD candidate Tse Yang Lim, indicated that the top ten countries by projected daily infection rates at the end of winter 2021 are India with 2.87 lakh infections per day, followed by the United States, South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, the UK, Nigeria, Turkey, France, and Germany.

The study used data from about 84 countries spanning an estimated 4.75 billion people. With the help of the global data, the researchers developed a dynamic epidemiological model for projected coronavirus infections.

Adding a note of caution, the researchers said that the projections for the spread of the disease are very sensitive to assumed testing of samples, behavioural, and policy responses, and they should be interpreted as indicators of potential risk and not a precise forecast of future cases in several countries.

Aggressive testing by nations and reductions in contacts in response to risk perception will significantly reduce future Covid-19 cases while laxer response, negligence and normalisation of risks can lead to outbreaks which could overwhelm existing health infrastructure of countries. By making additional assumptions on future testing and responses, the researchers said the model can inform future trajectories of the disease.

The authors also cautioned that despite the increasing numbers no country is remotely close to establishing herd immunity to combat the virus.

The United States currently leads the world with the highest concentration of Covid-19 cases and a record number of deaths. India, however, is not too far behind, occupying the third spot, preceded only by Brazil. Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, India on Tuesday said the total number of coronavirus infections and fatalities per million population in the country are among the lowest in the world.

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