In news: Many scientists have opined that a government-backed model, called SUTRA, to forecast the rise and ebb of the COVID-19 pandemic has failed in containing the spread.
About SUTRA model-
- National COVID 19 Supermodel Committee was formed by the Government of India to make projections about the spread of COVID 19 in India and help in making short and long term plans to defend the country from it.
- This committee comprises three scientists namely, Manindra Agrawal, Professor, IIT Kanpur, Madhuri Kanitkar, Deputy Chief, Integrated Defense Staff and M Vidyasagar, Professor, IIT Hyderabad.
- The panel is working on the SUTRA model for calculating the trajectory of the disease in India.
- This group was facilitated by the Department of Science and Technology and was the only one among several forecast groups, whose numbers were relayed using the government’s publicity channels.
- SUTRA (Susceptible, Undetected, Tested (positive), and Removed Approach) first came into public attention when one of its expert members announced in October, 2020 that India was “past its peak”.
Why is it considered a failure?
- A rapid acceleration of cases couldn’t be predicted in advance.
- It relied on too many parameters, and recalibrated those parameters whenever its predictions “broke down”.
- A constant indicating contact between people and populations went wrong.
- The model was ‘calibrated’ incorrectly.
- In February, 2021 the committee asserted that a “second wave was unlikely”, which turned to be a catastrophe.