Written byShalini Ojha
Six months after India reported its first coronavirus case (a student who returned from China's Wuhan tested positive), the country saw some positive news today, as recoveries zoomed past the 1 million (or 10 lakh) mark.
By Wednesday night, 1,019,297 people had defeated the contagious disease. The total number of cases stands at 1,583,792.
The numbers are encouraging, but the road ahead seems difficult.
As per the latest reports, for the first time since the disease's outbreak, India logged over 50,000 fresh cases in 24 hours on Wednesday.
52,123 new cases and 775 deaths were recorded, taking the total death toll to 34,968. 446,642 samples were tested yesterday.
Moreover, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh, reported their biggest single-day spike of cases.
Since the first case was reported on January 30, India, much like the rest of the world, has been turned upside down. A complete lockdown, to stop the disease's transmission, was enforced on March 25, which continued till May-end, albeit with some relaxations.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs released guidelines for Unlock 3.0, ending night curfew and allowing gyms/yoga classes to function.
Throughout this battle against the highly contagious disease, the federal government has emphasized on respectable recoveries and on keeping the mortality rate low.
While India's recoveries are among the best globally, this wasn't the case always.
On May 28, India had more infected patients than recovered. The gap between them was at least 23,000. But by mid-June, the difference closed in.
If one were to take states into account, Delhi has seen the maximum recoveries with 89% of 133,310 patients defeating the disease.
In Ladakh, 80% of patients have recovered and in Haryana, 78% are now well after being infected. The percentage of recoveries in Assam and Telangana is 76 and 75 respectively.
In worst-hit Maharashtra, 239,755 patients of 400,651 infected ones have recovered.
Further, in yet another positive news, the case fatality rate in India slipped to 2.23%, the lowest since April 1.
Commenting on the recoveries, Dr. Preeti Kumar, Vice President of the Public Health Systems Support, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), said, "A million recoveries from COVID-19 are significant and we can feel good about the numbers at this stage."
However, she cautioned against celebrating too early. "A sustained fall in new cases, with high levels of testing and low positivity, will provide an indication of a declining epidemic," she went on, adding that the current numbers are concerning.
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