Coronavirus: India reports 38K+ new cases; 60% in Kerala, Maharashtra
India on Monday reported over 38,000 new COVID-19 cases, with 60% of the fresh infections concentrated in Kerala and Maharashtra. The nationwide death toll climbed to 4.14 lakh with nearly 500 more deaths over a single day. Meanwhile, as the third wave of COVID-19 is imminent, experts say the Delta variant of the virus replicates faster when invading human cells. Here are more details.
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Monday morning, India reported a total of 3,11,44,229 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,14,108. So far, 3,03,08,456 patients have recovered, while 4,22,660 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 38,164 new infections, 38,660 more discharges, and 499 fresh fatalities. 40,64,81,493 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Notably, 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, 2021.
Maharashtra reported 9,000 new COVID-19 cases along with 5,756 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 13,956 new cases and 13,613 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,708 new cases and 2,463 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 2,079 new cases and 2,743 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 2,079 new cases and 2,743 recoveries.
On a related note, Dr. NK Arora, co-chair, Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) said that existing vaccines against COVID-19 are effective against the Delta variant (B.1.617.2). Dr. Arora said that studies show some mutations promote syncytium formation. The virus replicates faster on invading a human cell, he said, adding that this leads to a strong inflammatory response in organs such as the lungs.
Further, a study conducted by Mumbai doctors—published in the Lung India Journal—has found that people who battled severe COVID-19 and pneumonia show signs of healing within three to six months. The study's lead author, pulmonologist Dr. Sumeet Singhania, said they found that "lung function continues to get better." Previous research has pointed out that COVID-19 may lead to long-term lung damage.