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Friday, April 16, 2021

India’s Covid-19 scene: Peak heading south from north?

The positivity rate of Delhi’s coronavirus cases is going down, while the capital’s recovery rate has crossed 70%. On the contrary, India’s southern region is witnessing a surge of new cases with Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana contributing to over 25% of the nation’s total caseload.

It is a huge relief that Delhi’s positivity rate i.e. the number of Covid-19 positive patients out of the total number of people tested has gone down to 10.58 percent, according to a report. All we hope for is things to improve from here.

Let’s understand India’s present Covid-19 scenario in 5 points

1. Reduction in daily fresh cases in northern India

There is this slight glimmer of hope. The Capital’s average number of cases has been going down over the past week or so. Delhi is witnessing around 1,000 less daily new cases now, a welcome trend. Delhi recovery rate has also crossed 70%, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Saturday. The national recovery rate stands at 60.81% now. The total number of cases in the Capital is nearing 1 lakh but this is still an improved scenario compared to what we saw there last month.

2. Testing facilities ramped up in the north

Along with a spike in infection rate, the testing facility has improved in Delhi which was reeling under massive caseload and even surpassed Mumbai in terms of the rise of daily infection. The major reason behind the required testing speed in Delhi is the Indian Medical Council of Research’s nod to the antigen test. According to a report by India Today, a total of 5,96,695 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in Delhi till July 2. Of them, 94,695 people have been found positive, while 2,923 people have died.

For the previous RTPCR tests, a patient had to wait for a day or two to get his/her result, but with rapid antigen tests, you can get confirmation whether you have the infection or not within 15 to 30 minutes. Not only tests, but the administration’s initiatives to enhance the number of hospital beds, oxygen facility and now launching of the world’s “biggest” corona care centre with 10,000 beds have also brought the situation under control in the national Capital. The number of active cases is going down. This is the time not to indulge in complacency and let your guards down as a responsible citizen.

3. Rising cases in four southern states

Now if we look at the southern region, things have started becoming difficult. According to a report by The Indian Express, cases in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, cases are rising even more than the national average. These four states are sharing a major chunk of the nation’s daily caseload. Many experts have predicted that unlike Europe or USA, India, given its humongous size of the population and huge geographical region, will witness multiple peaks. Therefore, it is likely that there is this rise in cases in the southern Indian region now.

While Tamil Nadu has been having huge cases since March-end, Karnataka has been doing very well until it started reporting mounting cases from last month. Karnataka has started observing complete lockdown every Sunday starting from today. Kerala, on the other hand, which almost defeated the virus and flattened the curve, is now having its second wave of infection. A Kerala minister on Sunday said Thiruvananthapuram was “sitting on an active volcano”. Admitting that there is no guarantee that there would be no community transmission, he said the state will conduct more and more antigen tests to curb the virus’s spread.

4. A steady rise in overall recovery rate

With around 6,97,000 total cases, India surpassed Russia in terms of the world’s worst-hit Covid-19 countries on Sunday evening. India’s death toll stands at 19,699 at present. Of the total cases, 4,24,885 people have been recovered. The last two figures are reasons for India to be hopeful. The mortality rate stands at 2.87% at present, while the recovery rate has reached 61%. India’s recovery rate stood at just 7% in March. It became 26% in May.

As experts rightly pointed that over 70% of India’s total Covid-19 positive patients are young or middle-aged population. The natural immunity power of Indians has also played a key role here. Many states like Rajasthan, Bengal and now even Delhi have reported their individual recovery rate to be over 66%.

5. Maharashtra, the only exception

This is one such dark spot in India’s Covid-19 crisis. Since the outbreak began back in January, there is no improvement in Maharashtra’s coronavirus scene. The state continues to struggle with daily 6,000 or 7,000 cases now. Over 2 lakh people have been infected by the deadly virus till Sunday. Be its mortality rate (4.2%) or recovery rate (54%), Maharashtra lags behind the national average. Section 144 has been clamped down now on the city of Mumbai as a new measure to curb the virus’s spread. In one of our recent stories, we discussed why Mumbai is still reeling under massive caseloads. It seems that Maharashtra needs a special plan to come out of the crisis. This is a requisite, for Mumbai is India’s business capital.

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