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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

India coronavirus numbers explained: Lockdowns return, but to what effect?

India Coronavirus Cases Numbers: In the last two weeks, a re-imposition of lockdown has been tried in Chennai and nearby towns in Tamil Nadu, in Guwahati and neighbouring areas in Assam, and in Bengaluru and Hyderabad as well, all with limited success.

Written by Amitabh Sinha , Edited by Explained Desk | Pune | Updated: July 12, 2020 2:19:33 pm
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India Coronavirus Numbers: Starting coming Tuesday, Pune will undergo another round of complete lockdown, this time for ten days. Some neighbouring areas of Mumbai, like Thane, Mira-Bhayandar and Kalyan-Dombivili, that were already under a lockdown have been asked to remain under restrictions for at least another week.

In the last two weeks, a re-imposition of lockdown has been tried in Chennai and nearby towns in Tamil Nadu, in Guwahati and neighbouring areas in Assam, and in Bengaluru and Hyderabad as well, all with limited success. There has been no noticeable slowdown in the growth of cases in any of these areas.

Also read | As Karnataka overtakes UP, another lockdown in Bangalore

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Of course, it can be argued that it was too early to assess the impact of these lockdowns since these are still being implemented. Also, it is entirely possible that these areas could have grown at a faster rate in the absence of the lockdown. But in any case, these localised lockdowns are unlikely to have the kind of success that the first and second phase country-wide lockdowns could achieve in slowing down the rate of transmission and limiting the spread of the disease.

Top ten states with maximum caseload

STATE TOTAL POSITIVE NEW CASES TOTAL RECOVERIES DEATHS

 

Maharashtra 238,461 7,862 132,625 9,893
Tamil Nadu 130,261 3,680 82,324 1,829
Delhi 109,140 2,089 84,694 3,300
Gujarat 40,155 875 28,183 2,024
Uttar Pradesh 33,700 1,338 21,787 889
Karnataka 33,418 2,313 13,836 547
Telangana 32,224 1,278 19,205 339
West Bengal 27,109 1,198 17,348 880
Andhra Pradesh 25,422 1,608 9,848 35
Rajasthan 23,057 611 17,507 497

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But these do serve as important reminders to the public that the situation has not normalised yet, and there cannot be a return to business-as-usual scenario. In the last few weeks we have heard of several incidents of reckless behaviour, some of which have had tragic consequences. A marriage party in Bihar or a birthday party in Hyderabad has not just led to many invitees getting infected, but also resulted in the deaths of the main actors after contracting the disease. In many other areas, public places have begun to draw crowds. The use of masks is still not universal, nor are the practices of physical distancing being strictly followed. Activities which are not urgent or essential have been re-started. In a situation like this, these lockdowns, more than anything else, are about reminding people that the time to lower the guard has not yet come.

Certainly not when the number of new infections has been rising every day. On Friday, more than 27,000 new cases were reported from across the country, to take the total number of people who have been infected by the virus at some point or the other to over 8.2 lakh. Almost two lakh new infections have been detected in just last nine days.

Maharashtra reported as many as 7,862 new cases on Friday, a new record for the state. Karnataka reported 2,313, its own highest for any single day. Maharashtra now has 2.38 lakh cases, while Tamil Nadu has 1.3 lakh.

Six of the top ten states with maximum caseloads are now growing at a rate faster than the national growth rate. About a week earlier, only four states were in such a position. Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have joined the race since then. Delhi, however, has continued its slowdown, and its current growth rate is just over 2 per cent every day. For the country as a whole, the cases are growing at a rate of 3.44 per cent every day.

Even Telangana has showed signs of slowing down in the last three days. The number of new infections being detected every day has gone down from a level of 1,700-1,800 to about 1,200-1,300 during this time. But the surge has continued in Assam and Odisha, both states reporting about 570 cases each on Friday. Odisha now has a total of 12,526 cases, while Assam has a caseload of 14,600.

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