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India bracing up for the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic (PTI)
India bracing up for the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic (PTI)

India bracing up for the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic

  • The total tally of covid-19 cases on Monday crossed 1.10 crores and the toll reached close to 1,56,500
  • On Sunday alone, the country recorded 14,199 cases.

New Delhi: The waning covid-19 pandemic appears to be taking a U-turn in India with an increase in the daily cases to 15,000 cases in last 24 hours, an indication of a second wave of infection setting in.

The total tally of covid-19 cases on Monday crossed 1.10 crores and the toll reached close to 1,56,500.

On Sunday alone, the country recorded 14,199 cases. India’s cumulative national Positivity Rate is presently pegged at 5.20%. The country’s Active Caseload remained 1,50,055 on Monday which consists of 1.36% of India’s total Positive Cases, the union health ministry data showed.

The data available with the union health ministry further shows that over 86.3% of the new cases are from 5 States. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 6,971. It is followed by Kerala with 4,070 while Tamil Nadu reported 452 new cases. As 83 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, five States account for 78.31% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (35) and Kerala reported 15 deaths.

Blame it on temperature, humidity, India’ demography, mutant virus strains, lesser RTPCT tests or non-abiding of covid-19 appropriate behaviour; India is again recording high number of coronavirus infections with some stats such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, MP and Punjab being the worst affected.

A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health titled --Exploratory Analysis of Demographic Factors and the Temporal Evolution of covid-19 in India—suggested that highly urbanized states including Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are vulnerable during the current pandemic with incoming data from India further showing that hyper-urbanized cities like Mumbai and Delhi are hit hardest, requiring additional health infrastructure sustainability amid challenges in the social environment. Public health experts have warned that the evolving pandemic may pan out in the second wave of infections considering several factors.

“Different variants of the virus are floating around in various parts of the world. In India we have had a crore of lab confirmed cases so lot of viruses are in circulation. Larger the number of viruses, more are the chances of new variants emerging. Moreover, immunity after an exposure is of doubtful strength and duration. We still have a large population uninfected by the virus," said Lalit Kant, a scientist and former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The union health ministry has also admitted that over 75% of the Indian population remains vulnerable to the infection and of late it is seen that there has been a spike in the daily cases in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also. Punjab and J&K too are witnessing a surge in daily new cases.

In Maharashtra, in the last four weeks, the weekly cases have shown a rising trend and have increased from 18,200 to 21,300; while the weekly positivity has also increased from 4.7% to 8%. Punjab is rapidly assuming critical dimension in respect of the spread of covid-19 infection. In the State, in the last four weeks, the weekly positivity rate has increased from 1.4% to 1.6%, while the weekly cases in the last four weeks have seen a rise from 1300 to 1682, according to the union health ministry.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan last week said that the states having higher number of cases are not doing enough RT-PCR tests, the gold standard of covid-19 diagnosis and there has been laxity of adopting the covid-29 appropriate behaviour.

Globally countries are grappling with an increase in infection rates such as USA is having a third wave, Europe a second wave of covid-19 cases. “The return to normalcy in daily life with opening up of trains packed to capacity, Covid-19 inappropriate behaviour, large scale social gatherings and weddings without masks, can all lead to a second wave, which as experience from around the world shows, is always much worse and more devastating than the first wave," said Harsh Mahajan, Senior Vice President, NATHEALTH and Founder and Chief Radiologist Mahajan Imaging.


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