For the first time since July end, India recorded less than 50,000 new infections of novel coronavirus on Monday. The 47,000 cases detected on Monday was the lowest in three months.
The sharp drops in daily numbers on Mondays are nothing unusual. They have become a familiar pattern now, because of the low testing on Sunday. But even then, the fall in the detection of new cases this week is much greater than expected. This Sunday, 8.59 lakh tests were conducted, against the normal range of 10 to 11 lakh tests every day. When between eight and nine lakh tests per day was the norm, India was detecting well over 60,000 cases.
Alternatively, when India was reporting between 45,000 and 50,000 cases every day, the number of tests were in the range of four to five lakh tests a day.
The continuous decline in the number of new cases has meant that, after two and half months, India has stopped reporting the highest number of cases in the world. For the last three days, the United States, which is in the midst of a resurgence, has reported more new infections than India. There is a resurgence of cases in several countries of Europe as well.
A government-appointed committee of scientists had said on Sunday that the epidemic in India might have already reached a peak, and that the decline had begun. The committee had said if everything went well from here the epidemic might be very much in control by February next year.
Prof Manindra Agrawal of IIT Kanpur, who was part of the committee, told The Indian Express it was not necessary for India also to undergo a second wave of infections as is currently happening in the United States and Europe. But it was important for people to follow safety instructions, wear face masks and practice physical distancing. This was important all the more because the decline in numbers could lead to people becoming complacent, he said. Prof Agrawal said if India survived the festival season without too much increase in the numbers, there was hope for an early control over the epidemic.
On Monday, Maharashtra reported less than 6,000 cases, which was the lowest since July 8. It was still the highest contributor in the country, meaning that other states like Karnataka and Kerala, which have been reporting large number of cases these days, also discovered far lesser number of infections on Monday.
In September, the daily detection of cases in Maharashtra had gone beyond 20,000. Its peak so far has been more than 24,000. From there, the drop has been sharp and significant. Because Maharashtra still accounts for more than 20 per cent of all cases in India till now, and contributes about a sixth of the new cases in the country these days, any decline in the state has a big impact on the national numbers as well.📣 Click to follow Express Explained on Telegram
Daily recoveries have now outnumbered the new cases for 17 consecutive days now, because of which the active cases have fallen by more than two and half lakh in the last one month. The total number of people who have so far been infected with the virus in India is nearing 76 lakh now, out of which over 67.33 lakh, or 87 per cent, have recovered. The death count has crossed 1.15 lakh.
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