Coronavirus: Kerala, contributing 60% new cases, considers reopening cinemas
India on Tuesday reported over 26,000 new COVID-19 cases, out of which, roughly 60% were concentrated in Kerala alone. The state also contributes 54% of India's active cases. Kerala has been leading India's COVID-19 outbreak, even though infections have seen a declining trend. The state government is now considering reopening theaters and auditoriums in the next phase of reopening. Here are more details.
How bad is the outbreak across India?
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Tuesday morning, India reported a total of 3,35,04,534 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,45,385. So far, 3,27,49,574 patients have recovered, while 3,09,575 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 26,115 new infections, 34,469 more discharges, and 252 fresh fatalities. 81,85,13,827 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 2020. 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, and the two crore-mark on May 4.
60% new cases concentrated in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 2,583 new COVID-19 cases along with 3,836 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 15,692 new cases and 22,223 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 677 new cases and 1,678 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,661 new cases and 1,623 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 839 new cases and 1,142 recoveries.
Kerala considers reopening theaters, auditoriums
Kerala Minister for Cultural Affairs and Fisheries, Saji Cheriyan, said the state government is considering reopening theaters and auditoriums in the state in the next phase of reopening. Cheriyan told reporters, "The current situation in the state is comparatively better. Of course, we are thinking about its reopening. After reaching an understanding, a decision will be taken in this regard soon."
India to resume vaccine export
Separately, India on Monday said it will resume the export of surplus COVID-19 vaccines from this year's fourth quarter. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the country hopes to meet its commitment to COVAX. Mandaviya, however, maintained that vaccinating Indian citizens remains the government's top-most priority. India has fully vaccinated 15% of its total population so far, while 45% have received at least one dose.
US to welcome vaccinated air travelers from India, other nations
Meanwhile, starting November, the US has said that it will reopen its borders to incoming air passengers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. India is among the 33 countries that the US will be opening its borders to including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK, etc. Notably, Covishield is the only India-made vaccine among the list of approved vaccines in the US.