Maharashtra, which had the highest burden of the disease, also showed the highest decline in the number of daily cases being reported.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Maharashtra, which had the highest burden of the disease, also showed the highest decline in the number of daily cases being reported.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

India’s active Covid cases drop below 3,60,000. Lowest in 146 days

The decline is being mimicked by the six states that have been contributing the highest number of cases to the country’s total.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Anonna Dutt
UPDATED ON DEC 12, 2020 05:58 PM IST

India’s Covid-19 recoveries have outnumbered new cases over the past fortnight, which has led to the number of patients with current infection dropping below 3,60,000 as on Friday, according to data from the ministry of health. This is the lowest number of active cases in 146 days since July 17, when just over 359,000 active cases were recorded.

The decline is being mimicked by the six states that have been contributing the highest number of cases to the country’s total.

Maharashtra, which had the highest burden of the disease, also showed the highest decline in the number of daily cases being reported. The seven-day rolling average of new cases reported reduced from 21,982 in mid-September to 4,596 as on December 10.

Delhi, on the other hand, saw an increase from 4,156 cases in mid-September to a peak in November and then a decline to a seven-day rolling average of 3,036 new cases a day as on December 10.

Not only has there been a decline in the number of cases, the number of deaths due to the viral infection across the country has been fewer than 500 for seven days in a row. At its peak, the total number of deaths being reported across India in a day had touched over 1,200 deaths in September.

There were 442 deaths due to the infection on Friday, with 78% of these deaths being reported from 10 states and union territories. Maharashtra accounted for almost 20% of the total, with 87 deaths reported on Friday. This was followed by Delhi with 60 deaths and West Bengal with 50 deaths.

The data from the health ministry also showed that only 10 states and union territories recorded 74% of the new cases reported on Friday. Kerala had the highest number of cases with 4,748, followed by West Bengal with 2873 cases and Maharashtra with 2,778 cases.

“The number of cases is on the decline across the country. However, no one can say whether there would be another peak in cases or not; we still do not know everything about Sars-CoV-2. We do not know whether herd immunity through natural infection works,” said Dr Lalit Kant, former head of epidemiology and infectious disease at Indian Council of Medical Research.

“Countries like Spain, where it felt like almost everyone had been exposed to the infection, still had another peak of the infection. From a study in Iceland, we know that the antibodies reduce and become undetectable over time. Only after the vaccine becomes available will the virus start behaving in a predictable pattern,” he said.

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