NEW DELHI: It took 323 days for coronavirus cases in India to reach the 10 million (one crore) mark since the first case was reported on January 30.
On Saturday, the coronavirus cases in the country surpassed the 10 million mark with 25,152 new infections. However, the virus in the country, which peaked in September, seems to be abating. The imminent arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine has also infused fresh hopes that the pandemic which has claimed 145k lives across the world is on its way out.
We explore how the pandemic spread across the country…
The first coronavirus case in the country was reported on January 30. It took six months for coronavirus to cross the one-million mark.
In September, the country was reeling under the worst phase of the pandemic. It was also the time when the total number of cases crossed the five million mark.
Experts believe that the worst phase for the country is most likely over. The coronavirus peak in India happened in mid-September when 97,894 new cases were reported on September 16. Since then the daily new cases have drastically come down.
Noted virologist Dr Shahid Jameel said India’s curve for daily cases is on a downward slope. “At this time, we are getting about 25,500 cases daily compared to over 93,000 cases per day in mid-September. I believe the worst is over. But there will be small peaks in the future just as we witnessed in late November,” he said.
India’s Covid-19 numbers have been continuously falling for three months now. On Friday, according to the ministry data, there were 25,000 new cases. The last time India reported less than 26,000 was five months ago in early July.
The growth rate of the virus is also slowing down with the last one million cases happening in 29 days. This is the second-highest number of days the virus took to infect a million people in India since January. In September, the number of cases crossed from four million to five million in a mere 11 days.
A recovery rate of 95% is one of the highest in the world, according to the health ministry. At present, there are 308k active cases in the country.
The total discharged cases are at 95,20,827 with 31,087 new recoveries in the last 24 hours against 22,889 new Covid-19 infections taking the total cases to 99,79,447, said the ministry of health and family welfare.
The new recoveries have been exceeding new cases continuously for the last 21 days.
The case fatality rate in India, which measures the number of deaths against the number of confirmed cases, has been consistently low since the beginning of the outbreak. It has remained below 4% throughout the length of the pandemic.
Globally, Italy bore the brunt of Covid-19 virus during the start of the pandemic. The CFR in the southern European nation remained above 14 for over four months. The virus has claimed over 67,000 lives in the country.
Though the virus seems to have subsided in most of the parts of India, however, southern India continues to report a high number of cases. The five worst-affected states in terms of the number of confirmed cases were all reported from south India. Maharashtra with over 1.88 million cases has the maximum share of caseload; followed by Karnataka, with over 900k cases.
In the last one month, the number of cases in the country increased by one million to reach the 10 million mark. A major bulk of these cases were reported from five states — Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal and Rajasthan.
During this period, the southern states showed a dramatic decline in the number of cases. On November 19, the case share of southern Indian states was 37%. A month later, the share was reduced to 27%.
While all the states saw only one peak of the coronavirus, Delhi was the only region in the country to have witnessed three peaks.
The first peak happened in June, followed by the second peak in September. The capital witnessed the third peak of the virus in November around the festive season.
On Saturday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Delhi is under control now, as the city reported 1,133 fresh cases of the infection at a positivity rate of less than 1.5 per cent.
Bengaluru Urban with 3,81,623 confirmed cases is the worst affected district in the country. It is followed by three districts — Pune (3.65 lakh), Mumbai (2.85 lakh), and Thane (2.49 lakh) — from Maharashtra.
Chennai is the fifth worst-affected country with 2,21,587 cases.
North and Middle Andaman in Andaman & Nicobar Islands is the least-affected district with only one coronavirus case.
Globally, India is the second worst-affected country in the world behind the US, which has witnessed the most catastrophic impact of the pandemic with over 17 million cases and more than 313k deaths.