Coronavirus: India reports 25K cases; third wave likely by October
India on Monday reported a little over 25,000 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day spike in 160 days. The number of active infections stood at 1.03% of the total cases, the lowest since March 2020. Infections have been declining in India since the brutal second wave peaked in May. However, experts have warned that a third wave of infections could hit India by October.
India's tally crosses 3.24 crore; 4.34 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Monday morning, India reported a total of 3,24,49,306 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,34,756. So far, 3,16,80,626 patients have recovered, while 3,33,924 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 25,072 new infections, 44,157 more discharges, and 389 fresh fatalities. 58,25,49,595 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
India's second wave peaked on May 7
To recall, India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the three crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the one crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the two crore-mark on May 4.
Over 41% new cases concentrated in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 4,141 new COVID-19 cases along with 4,780 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 10,402 new cases and 25,586 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,189 new cases and 1,456 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,630 new cases and 1,827 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 1,085 new cases and 1,541 recoveries.
Weekly infections decline by 12%
Notably, India witnessed a sharp week-on-week decline in fresh infections in the week that ended this Sunday. The country reported 2.2 lakh infections between August 16-22 compared to the 2.5 lakh infections reported the week before. The spike in Himachal Pradesh and the Northeastern states witnessed in recent weeks has also started receding. The daily test positivity rate in Kerala remains a concerning 16%.
Third wave likely by October; pediatric facilities inadequate
Separately, an expert government committee has warned that the third wave of COVID-19 could reach a peak of five lakh daily infections by September-end if more virulent variants emerge. Even with strict interventions, a peak of under two lakh daily cases could hit India by October-end. The committee's report also warned against inadequate pediatric facilities amid concerns the third wave could disproportionately affect children.