India reports 38,949 new Covid-19 cases, 542 more fatalities
India’s caseload of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) climbed to 31,026,829 on Friday after 38,949 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare. As many as 542 people died and 40,026 recovered from the viral disease in the said period, taking the cumulative death toll and recoveries to 412,531 and 30,183,876 respectively. The active cases of Covid-19 stand at 430,422 and constitute 1.39 per cent of the caseload, the health ministry’s update further showed.
Friday’s cases are 2,857 less than that of Thursday’s when 41,806 infections were seen. Meanwhile, the toll on Friday is 39 less than that of Thursday’s when 581 deaths were reported.
A total of 440,023,239 samples have been tested for the Covid-19 disease so far of which 1,955,910 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Friday.
Even though the daily infections in India are seeing a slight increase amid the ongoing second wave of the pandemic, the arrival of the third wave in the country is inevitable. The recent incidents of people in massive numbers flocking to hill stations, tourist destinations and market places with no adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, can prove to be super spreader events.
According to a report by news agency Reuters, apart from the above, pilgrimages can also prove to be super spreader events of Covid-19. This is an indirect indication towards the upcoming Kanwar Yatra- an annual pilgrimage of Shiva devotees to Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand to fetch Ganga water. The festival will begin on July 25.
Uttarakhand on July 13 decided to scrap the yatra to prevent overcrowding of devotees in Haridwar, a lesson which the state learned from hosting the Kumbh Mela, which turned out to be a super spreader event.
However, the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh has allowed the Kanwar Yatra despite the apprehensions of a massive spread of Covid-19. The Supreme Court on Wednesday pointed out that it was a little disturbed by the UP government’s decision to allow the annual pilgrimage. State health minister Jai Pratap Singh said on Thursday that all Covid-19 protocols will be followed during the yatra. But, law enforcement officials in Uttar Pradesh, including the police, have pointed out it might be difficult to get thousands of devotees to follow social distancing, wear masks and undergo Covid-19 tests.