Under 800,000 active cases in India for 1st time, experts have a word of caution
The number of recoveries outpaced the number of new Covid-19 infections recorded on Thursday, government data revealed.Updated: Oct 17, 2020, 15:45 IST
Continuing the downward trend, the number of active cases or of those infected currently dipped below 800,000 on Friday. This has happened for the first time since September 1 when the number of active cases was still on the rise, with fewer recoveries and more new cases getting registered daily. On an average, over 84,000 new cases were reported each day during the first week of September while only about 69,000 recoveries happened.
A decline in the active cases – the patients who need treatment or some care – was seen during the third week of September after hitting the grim milestone of reporting over 1 million cases a day. On Thursday, only 62,212 cases were reported and there were 70,816 recoveries, data provided by the union health ministry shows.
Of the new cases, 79% were reported from 10 states and union territories – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha. Maharashtra accounted for more than 18% of the new cases.
There were 837 deaths reported due to the infection on Thursday, of which 82% were from ten states; Punjab and Madhya Pradesh were the two states that did not report very high cases but had high fatalities, whereas Delhi and Odisha had high caseload but did not report as many deaths.
“Enhanced countrywide medical infrastructure, implementation of the standard treatment protocols, and total dedication and commitment of doctors, paramedics and frontline workers have led to a persistent increase in the number of total recoveries with a dip in the fatality rate. India continues to record high recoveries and one of the lowest fatality rates globally,” the ministry said.
India’s case fatality ratio (CFR) – proportion of deaths among those who tested positive – stands at 1.52% against a global average of 2.8%.
Experts fear a rise in cases again with the festival season ahead.
“The number of cases is likely to go up again if people increase their interactions during the festival season and do not follow the preventive measures. Although the decline that we are seeing is good news, the fear is that the infection has now travelled to smaller cities and villages where there are inadequate testing and treatment facilities, meaning many of the cases and deaths that happen there might not be reported. The current declining trend that we are seeing is the decline in the number of cases in the bigger cities,” said Dr Lalit Kant, former head of the department of epidemiology and infectious diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research.