In­dia now has more than 4 lakh Covid-19 cases

Be­comes the 4th na­tion af­ter the US, Brazil and Rus­sia to cross the grim mile­stone; 3 states ac­count for 60% cases

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Corre­spon­dent letters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The num­ber of Covid-19 cases in In­dia ex­ceeded 400,000 on Saturday, in­clud­ing at least 13,000 deaths, with the coun­try re­port­ing a record num­ber of daily new cases and be­com­ing only the fourth na­tion af­ter the US, Brazil and Rus­sia to cross the grim mile­stone. On Saturday, 15,813 peo­ple were di­ag­nosed with Covid-19, in the coun­try’s high­est sin­gle-day spike so far that took the to­tal tally to 411,500 cases. The lat­est 100,000 in­fec­tions in the coun­try have been recorded in eight days.

NEW DELHI The num­ber of Covid-19 cases in In­dia ex­ceeded 400,000 on Saturday, in­clud­ing at least 13,000 deaths, with the coun­try re­port­ing a record num­ber of daily new cases and be­com­ing only the fourth na­tion af­ter the US, Brazil and Rus­sia to cross the grim mile­stone.

On Saturday, 15,813 peo­ple were di­ag­nosed with Covid-19, in the coun­try’s high­est sin­gle-day spike that took the to­tal tally to 411,500 cases.

The pan­demic ap­pears to be ac­cel­er­at­ing in In­dia at a time when most lock­down re­stric­tions have been lifted to mit­i­gate the eco­nomic im­pact of the re­stric­tions that brought to a stand­still most eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the coun­try.

The lat­est 100,000 in­fec­tions in the coun­try have been recorded in just eight days – lower than the 10 days it took for the pre­vi­ous 100,000 in­fec­tions and 15 days for the 100,000 cases be­fore that mark.

It took the coun­try 78 days to cross the first 100,000 cases, a de­vel­op­ment ex­perts at­tribute to the early im­po­si­tion of the lock­down in In­dia, when the coun­try had just over 600 con­firmed Covid-19 cases.

About 75% of the to­tal in­fec­tions in In­dia have been re­ported be­tween May 19 and June 20, ac­cord­ing to data col­lated by HT.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the pos­i­tiv­ity rate, or the av­er­age rate of sam­ples test­ing positive for Covid-19 across the coun­try, rose from 4.6% for the week end­ing May 17 to 7.8% for the week end­ing June 17. In ab­so­lute terms, 6.2% of the over 6.6 mil­lion sam­ples have tested positive for the disease, ac­cord­ing to lat­est data by the In­dian Coun­cil of Med­i­cal Re­search (ICMR).

Out of these, 189,869 tests were con­ducted in the pre­vi­ous 24-hour pe­riod, ICMR said on Saturday morn­ing.

The in­crease in the test­ing ca­pac­ity, cou­pled with the rise in the num­ber of pa­tients be­ing di­ag­nosed for Covid-19, is an in­di­ca­tion of the virus’ preva­lence in In­dia, ex­perts say.

“It is only nat­u­ral that if you test more, more peo­ple will test positive... In­dia is cur­rently at the as­cend­ing limb of the epi­demic. We have not reached the peak [of in­fec­tions] yet, and in this sit­u­a­tion, this is what will hap­pen [more peo­ple will test positive],” said Dr Lalit Kant, the for­mer head of epi­demi­ol­ogy and com­mu­ni­ca­ble disease at ICMR.

The spread of the disease, which orig­i­nated in China late last year, crip­pled economies world over as coun­tries put in place strict lock­downs and en­forced so­cial dis­tanc­ing norms to slow the in­fec­tion’s ram­page. The pathogen, named Sars-CoV-2 for its sim­i­lar­ity to the Se­vere Acute Res­pi­ra­tory Syn­drome disease, has in­fected over 8.8 mil­lion peo­ple and claimed 464,294 lives glob­ally.

Ex­perts say the pan­demic is now in its third surge of the out­break – the first be­ing in China, sec­ond in Europe and the US, and the lat­est thriv­ing in Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries such as Brazil, Peru and Chile along with In­dia, Mex­ico and Rus­sia.

In In­dia, the three worst-hit states Ma­ha­rash­tra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu ac­count for nearly 60% of the to­tal in­fec­tions, with the con­ta­gion largely es­tab­lish­ing a strong foothold in ur­ban hot spots such as Delhi, Mum­bai and Chen­nai. Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures by state health de­part­ments, Ma­ha­rash­tra saw 128,205 Covid-19 pa­tients in the state and 5,984 deaths till Saturday. At 56,845 cases, Tamil Nadu — the sec­ond worst-hit state in the coun­try — has less than half of Ma­ha­rash­tra’s tally, and 704 mor­tal­i­ties.

New Delhi re­ported 56,746 positive pa­tients and 2,112 fa­tal­i­ties linked to the disease.

On Saturday, the to­tal fa­tal­i­ties across the coun­try stood at 13,278, re­flect­ing a case fa­tal­ity rate – de­fined as the pro­por­tion of deaths to the to­tal in­fected pa­tients – of 3.2%, much lower than the global rate of around 5.2%. Data also showed that 228,145 pa­tients or 55.4% in­fected so far have re­cov­ered from the res­pi­ra­tory ill­ness in In­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to pub­lic health ex­perts, con­trol­ling the num­ber of deaths due to the disease – that par­tic­u­larly af­fects the el­derly and those with ex­ist­ing med­i­cal ail­ments — is key to con­trol­ling the out­break and will de­ter­mine if the health in­fra­struc­ture in the coun­try will with­stand the disease bur­den or buckle un­der it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.