October 6 (IndiaToday) – India’s Covid-19 count on Tuesday reached 6,685,083 in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The count includes 919,023 active cases in the last 24 hours. And with that India’s active Covid-19 cases finally started showing signs of a steady decline.
On September 16, the active cases in India crossed one million for the first time. It stayed above that figure for about a week. Since September 21, it’s been on a decline.
The Health Ministry also said on Monday that India has maintained a steady trend of recording less than 10 lakh active Covid cases for straight two weeks now. It further said the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 55,86,703, pushing the recovery rate to 84.34%.
INDIA’S COVID RECOVERIES OUTPACE DAILY RISE
India’s Covid-19 daily deaths too have come down significantly over the last one month. The 7-day rolling average of daily deaths was over 1,100 in the last week of September. In the first week of October, the daily deaths have come down to 1,000 per day on average.
This indicates that India’s active cases are majorly being brought down by the high number of recovered cases in comparison to the daily new cases. This is when the level of testing has been scaled to almost a million tests per day.
However, India is not the only worst affected country where the active cases have begun to come down. Among the countries with more than 50,000 active Covid cases, Brazil, Peru and Bangladesh, too, have recorded a fall in their active cases.
Peru now has over 93,000 active Covid-19 cases and Bangladesh has a little over 82,000 active cases. On Sunday, Brazil had a little less than 4 lakh active cases.
SECOND WAVE IN EUROPE
Tighter restrictions and severe lockdowns combined with mass testing had helped several European countries in controlling the pandemic. However, as unlock started and public mobility rose, a significant number of new Covid-19 infections in many European countries have resurfaced.
The situation is worrisome in France and Spain, where the active cases are way more than what they were during the first peak.
During its first wave, France at most had 97,979 active cases on April 28, which went down slightly in the next month. According to the data by Johns Hopkins University’s Covid-19 dashboard, as of Monday, France had 5.3 lakh active cases, almost six times higher than its first.
Likewise, Spain too faces a rising number of active cases in Europe. Spain now has 6.26 lakh active cases. Combined together, Spain and France do not even have one-tenth of India’s population, yet they have more active Covid-19 cases than India.
Covid-19 active cases in Italy have risen again. As of Monday, they reached close to 58,000.
Apart from these three countries, active cases are rising in the Netherlands, Russia and Sweden in Europe, Israel, Iran and Iraq in Asia. Even the United States, where President Donald Trump has been found Covid positive only recently, has an upward-moving graph of active Covid-19 cases.
NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY
While the number of daily new infections is going down in India, however, like other countries, India is not immune from a second wave. The virus has shown the world how little negligence can cause disastrous results as Spain and France announce partial lockdowns.
While it took six months for its first wave to slow down, experts believe that India must not leave any room for mistakes, as the future is both uncertain and crucial.
Bhramar Mukherjee, professor of epidemiology at the school of Public Health, University of Michigan US, said that India needs to keep its healthcare strengthened for the next two years.
Speaking to India Today TV, she said, “Not just these countries, the US and UK too are recording higher active cases. The US is now entering its third local peak with 22 states having increasing cases. As for India, it is just about time here; nothing makes me feel confident that India is only going to see one peak. With the festival seasons coming up, I am concerned as this kindles a natural desire in us to come together though the virus is very much in the community.”
Professor Mukherjee suggests that we leave no room for complacency and suggests that we keep strengthening healthcare. “We need to keep testing and keep strengthening our healthcare to deal with Covid for at least the next two years until most of the world gets inoculated. Our health is interconnected. Like you saw, for India to show a national peak, most states needed to show a decline. I am happy to see that it has happened now but we are nowhere close to herd immunity with roughly 10% of the population infected (estimated by using serosurvey and epidemiological models)”.
The festive season also brings the issue of poor air quality in the northern parts of the country with its capital Delhi being the most affected. Breathing poor air can lead to people being co-morbid to respiratory diseases which can prove fatal if Covid-19 also comes along, the DIU had earlier reported.