India coronavirus cases: With Kerala once again reporting more than 7,000 new cases on Sunday, the state government has warned of another complete lockdown if people did not follow the norms of physical distancing.
The state, once feted globally for effective containment of the epidemic, has been in the midst of a big surge. Each of the last five days has registered a new record in the number of new infections being detected. On Sunday, almost 7,500 people were found to have tested positive for the virus. The state has, so far, recorded more than 1.75 lakh confirmed infections.
Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja on Sunday blamed “certain irresponsible behaviour” of the people for the recent rise in infection numbers, and said the state would be left with no option but to go in for another round of complete lockdown if people did not cooperate with government efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Like chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Shailaja too blamed the Opposition parties for carrying on with their protests, which, she said, was also contributing to the infection getting transmitted.
The Opposition United Democratic Front and the BJP have been staging protests in the state demanding the resignation of Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel for his alleged involvement in the gold smuggling case.
Kerala has added almost exactly one lakh cases so far in September, which is more than all but six states. Almost a third of these have come in just the last five days. Its case numbers are currently growing at the fastest rate in the country. Kerala has recorded fewer deaths compared to most of the high-caseload states, but Shailaja said this could change if the infection continued to spread at a very rapid rate. She pointed to the fact that Kerala had a very high proportion of elderly in its population, and so far over 70 per cent of the deaths in the state was of people who were aged above 60.
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Meanwhile, the recoveries at the national level showed a sharp fall on Sunday. Less than 75,000 patients were declared to have recovered, the lowest number since September 10. In the last few days, recoveries had been significantly outnumbering the detection of new cases. On Saturday, for example, more than 92,000 people were declared to have recovered from the disease. On September 17, the daily recovery had even crossed the one lakh-figure.
A little over 82,000 new cases were detected across the country on Sunday, taking the total number of people who have so far been infected with the disease to well over 60 lakh. Its been over three weeks when the more than 90,000 cases were detected in a single day for the first time. While that number did reach to about 98,000 on one of the days, the daily detections have not seen a major jump after that. Usually, the daily detections see a big surge after every two weeks.
As is the norm, there was a drastic drop in the number of tests carried out on Sunday. Only seven lakh samples were tested, less than half of achieved just three days ago. That would mean that the number for new cases on Monday is unlikely to be higher than what was reported on Sunday.
Delhi, in the meanwhile, is showing signs of a slowdown. After recording its highest single-day rise on September 17, more than 4,400 new cases, the daily case numbers have been coming down. On Sunday, less than 3,300 new cases were detected in the Capital, which now has a little more than 2.71 confirmed infections.
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