India has surpassed 1.5 million (15 lakhs) cases of the novel coronavirus disease, crossing a whopping 50,000 cases in a single day. The country has otherwise been registering over 30,000 confirmed cases per day, on an average.
According to India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, as of July 30th, the total count of infection is 15,83,792; more than a million (10 lakhs) people are said to be recovered with a death toll of 34,968. The recovery rate is steadfastly increasing and is now recorded to be at 64.44 percent.
It took India 137 days to hit the one million mark since its first case was reported on January 30th in the southern state of Kerala. By June 27th, the country hit the half a million cases mark. In three weeks, the toll augmented to a million.
With a population of 1.3 billion, India stands behind the USA (4.41 million) and Brazil (2.56 million) in the number of confirmed cases.
By March 12th, India banned international travelers from entering the country. Then, at 618 confirmed cases, India imposed one of the world’s more stringent country-wide lockdowns, from March 25th, initially for a span of three-weeks, which then extended to five more weeks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the commencement of this lockdown to the nation in a televised press conference. He said: “If (the) situation is not handled in these 21 days, the country and your family could go back 21 years.”
“To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” said Modi, according to an Associated Press translation.
While the nation struggled to slow down the virus, the impromptu announcement affected India’s millions of migrant workers as well as the economy. Scores of migrant workers found themselves abandoned in foreign states deprived of money, sustenance, and the means to go home. India’s 120 million migrant workers flooded the streets seeking the government’s help. Many walked thousands of miles with their family/luggage to reach their houses as non-essential (and therefore, public) traveling was banned in the lockdown. Reportedly, dozens of workers have succumbed to death in road accidents during their journey.
To revive the falling economy, India began its first phase of unlocking. The reopening of malls, restaurants, religious gatherings, and offices may have resulted in the exponential rise of cases. Given the country’s heavily underfunded and crumbling healthcare, India struggles to stay on par with frequent testing and availing medical facilities to COVID-19 patients.
Indian Council of Medical Research has reportedly tested 1,81,90,382 total samples.
The World Health Organization has also said that the pandemic in India is “still accelerating”. Delhi – the capital city, Mumbai – the financial hub, and Tamil Nadu are at the top of the list of India’s coronavirus hotspots. Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana have further emerged as hotspots since lockdown restrictions were lifted.
According to a research paper conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it is predicted that “India will have the highest daily new coronavirus cases in the world by February 2021, and that it will overtake the US and Brazil in terms of absolute cases by the end of that year.”
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