India Cross 3 Million Covid-19 Cases!

With the consistent heavy spikes in new cases for the last few days, mostly over 60,000 per day except perhaps for an aberration on a particular day, India has crossed the 3 million total COVID-19 cases last evening. The 2 million mark was breached on 7th of August 2020 which means that 1 million got added in just 16 days. Of course, the doubling rate which was 21 days from 1 to 2 million has now increased to over 30; but we are basically concerned with the huge numbers, in the tune of millions. And, the numbers are really becoming ominous. At this rate India is set to surpass Brazil’s numbers in the next few days, and worse, if infections are allowed to multiply like this, India can even cross the US, considering India’s population, population density and the compromises made here in containing the spread of infections starting from the migrant workers’ issue. These factors have already been mentioned in our earlier pieces. Sure, the country-wide COVID-19 tests have also crossed 1 million per day.

The recovery rate at about 75% now and a declining fatality rate at marginally below 2% no longer offer an escape route for the authorities, because the active cases have crossed 700,000 and are rising still. Most importantly, nearly a thousand people are dying everyday in the country, and in Maharashtra that still has not neared the peak despite over five months of acceleration, nearly 300 people are dying on a daily basis with a fatality rate still higher than 3%. This is not acceptable at all. Increasing fatalities are also being reported from the main states of concern: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Bihar. Other states in the acceleration zone are Assam, Kerala, Telangana, Odisha, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. Metros of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai have displayed a flattening curve recently, but still having ups and downs in daily numbers.

Another matter of increasing concern has been the obsession of the Indian mainstream media with the concept of ‘herd immunity’. They have been sticking to this impractical phenomenon despite clarifications by experts on many occasions. We had also mentioned herd immunity earlier here, according to which at least 70—80% of the population will have to be infected with COVID-19 for the whole population to achieve immunity to the disease. Consider this with India’s population of 1.35 billion: at the present death rate, we will have to sacrifice the lives of around 20 million people of the country to achieve herd immunity, the harder way. And, if a safe and effective vaccine comes up that can immunize people on a long-term basis, then herd immunity will be the obvious conclusion, without anybody having to do anything with it or brag anything about it. Since a major segment of the mainstream Indian media toes the government line this obsession looks sinister in a way: have all of the controlling authorities given up or surrendered to the Coronavirus invasion allowing it to go on ravaging at will before ensuring the ultimate possible immunity! We sincerely hope not. Interestingly, the union government had clarified recently that herd immunity is not a viable option. Therefore, all speculation about ‘herd immunity’ should ideally stop hence.


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