CPPR Senior Fellow Rijo M John, comments in a news article published in Deccan Chronicle on the rising number of COVID-19 cases. He says “total COVID-19 cases in India is projected to cross 2 million around August 10-11 and 3 million by 28-29. He said about 3.2 million cases are expected by August 31. He said that the projection is conservative and based on trends in growth.”

Image source: Deccan Chronicle
A priest holds a lamp as devotees pray at a temple during the Tamil holy month of Aadi in Chennai. India on July 17 became the third country in the world to record one million coronavirus cases, following Brazil and the United States. Experts said the number of cases is expected to shoot up to 2 million in barely another three weeks. (AFP).

For the third consecutive day on Saturday, India recorded over 30,000 cases of coronavirus, with 34,884 people testing positive in the last 24 hours. India’s COVID-19 caseload has surged to 10,38,716 while 6,53,750 patients have recovered from the disease so far. The death toll due to COVID-19 has risen to 26,273, with 671 fatalities reported in a day.

At present, there are 3,58,692 active cases in the country, while 6,53,750 people have recovered so far. “Around 62.94 per cent of patients have recovered so far,” an official said.

However, the real worry is about India crossing the next million cases in less than three weeks’ time. According to health economist Rijo M John, total COVID-19 cases in India is projected to cross 2 million around August 10-11 and 3 million by 28-29. He said about 3.2 million cases are  expected by August 31. He said that the projection is conservative and based on trends in growth. He had on June 8 said India would cross 1 million around July 22, which the country crossed on July 16th.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 1,34,33,742 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to July 17 with 3,61,024 samples being tested on Friday.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 2,92,589 followed by Tamil Nadu at 1,60,907, Delhi at 1,20,107, Karnataka at 55,115, Gujarat at 46,430, Uttar Pradesh at 45,163 and Telangana at 42,496.The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 40,646 in Andhra Pradesh, 38,011 in West Bengal, 27,789 in Rajasthan, 24,797 in Haryana, 23,589 in Bihar and 21,081 in Madhya Pradesh.

Assam has 20,646 cases of infections, Odisha 16,110 and Jammu and Kashmir 12,757 cases. Kerala has reported 11,066 novel coronavirus infections so far, while Punjab has 9,442 cases.

Of the 671 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 258 are from Maharashtra, 115 from Karnataka, 79 from Tamil Nadu, 42 from Andhra Pradesh, 38 from Uttar Pradesh, 26 each from West Bengal and Delhi, 17 from Gujarat, nine each from Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, and eight each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Telangana has reported seven fatalities followed by Haryana with five deaths, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha reported four each, Assam and Puducherry have registered three each, Chhattisgarh and Goa reported two each while Kerala and Uttarakhand have registered a fatality each.

Of the total 26,273 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 11,452 fatalities followed by Delhi with 3,571 deaths, Tamil Nadu 2,315, Gujarat 2,106, Karnataka 1,147, Uttar Pradesh 1,084, West Bengal 1,049, Madhya Pradesh 697 and Rajasthan 546. So far, 534 people have died of COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh, 403 in Telangana, 327 in Haryana, 239 in Punjab, 231 in Jammu and Kashmir, 201 in Bihar, 83 in Odisha, 51 in Uttarakhand and Assam each, 46 in Jharkhand and 38 in Kerala.

Puducherry has registered 25 deaths, Chhattisgarh 23, Goa 21, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh 11 each, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura three each, Meghalaya and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu two each while Ladakh has reported one fatality.

Officials of the health ministry said that the demand for hospital beds has reduced due to effective disease management strategy and now very few need ventilator or oxygen support compared to May and June.

“India, being the second most populous country in the world with 1.35 billion people, has 727.4 cases per million. On the global scale, cases/million population in India are 4 to 8 times less than some European countries,” said health ministry officials. They said that Russia has 8 times and the United States 16 times higher cases per million compared to India. Officials underlined the case fatality rate at 18.6 deaths/million of the country is one of the lowest in the world.

“Timely detection of the infected persons has helped in early treatment too. The effective clinical management strategies have shown to yield positive results. Almost 80% of the asymptomatic and mild cases have been advised home isolation under medical supervision. The strategy of home isolation for the mild and asymptomatic patients has ensured to keep the hospitals unburdened, where the focus has been on treatment of the severe cases and reduction of fatality. It is also notable that less than 1.94 per cent of the cases are in ICUs, 0.35 per cent cases are on ventilators and 2.81 per cent cases are on Oxygen beds,” said the officials. 

This news article was first published in the Deccan Chronicle on July 18, 2020. Click here to read

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