India Cross 4 Million COVID-19 Cases!

It has taken just 12 days for India to rise to over 4 million COVID-19 cases. Another high in daily new cases has been reached at 86,432 in the last twenty-four hours. During the last 12 days India had surpassed the seventy and eighty thousand marks with more than 80,000 daily new cases for the last four consecutive days, highest in the world. As we saw earlier it had taken 16 days to reach 3 million cases on 23rd August 2020 from 2 million cases as against 21 days to reach 2 million on 7th August 2020 from 1 million cases. By looking at the daily statistics it becomes clear that in the month of August itself India had added a whopping 2 million cases. It is interesting to know that to reach 1 million from just 1case India took 168 days, but attainment of the other millions has been the fastest: it had taken only 50 days to surge from 1 to 4 million cases, beating the nearest nations, the US and Brazil, in the race. Recovery rate of over 77% at the moment, total recoveries are at around 3.1 million; however, with the almost uncontrollable surge, active cases are nearing the 1 million mark which is a matter of growing concern. India is just around 70,000 cases away from the second-placed Brazil, and it is a matter of one or two days only to occupy the second position in the list of the  worst affected nations of the world.

India started the national lockdown strategy from 25th March 2020, totally focused on the ‘save lives’ objective. However, with the Indian realities of the unorganized sector and the migrant workers the issue of ‘livelihood’ came up too. The debate of ‘lives vs livelihood’ heated up during that time with the lack of preparation for implementing the lockdown getting exposed. Unfortunately, after nearly six months of fighting the killer virus this issue is coming up again. For the last four consecutive days 1000+ lives have been lost daily; the state of Maharashtra reporting 350+ deaths daily in the same period. The government has been banking on the increasing recovery rate and the falling fatality rate, and has been sticking to the rather forced optimism after being in the denial mode continuously about an apparent community transmission in the country. Total deaths at 69,561 and rising, India cannot afford to go on allowing the Coronavirus take more and more lives. In the Unlocking spree which is bound to come, the options are very limited here, unless the much-awaited vaccine arrives fast. The latest World Health Organization declaration that a possible COVID-19 vaccine could be available to the public at large only around mid-2021 makes the task of fighting COVID-19 for India all the more uphill.

Although the tests done daily in the country have crossed the 1 million mark, the spikes in new cases and deaths are much more pronounced. Still there has been no sign of reaching the peak or flattening the curve. Maharashtra has had more than 19,000 new cases in the last twenty-four hours, the highest so far, and Mumbai that has shown a decline in numbers in recent times has started having spikes of about 2000 cases daily again. It has been said that perhaps the 10-day Ganesh Festival, although muted, has contributed to the increasing cases; but the same trend has also been observed in Delhi which is yet to enter into the festive season. Thus, to make it more worrying the Indian festive season is fast approaching, and then the long winter. An umbrella gives us protection against rains and heat. Perhaps a kind of an umbrella protection is what people are looking forward to. How to achieve this is the question. The umbrella of strict new normal norms would be hard to implement as we have already seen. And challenges are only increasing by the day: slump in the growth rate by nearly 24% and 20 million having lost salaried jobs. No doubt why the ‘Act of God’ doctrine is doing the rounds now. But of course, there is also the ‘mercy of God’ factor, to be optimistic, that is to say…

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