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New Delhi: Even as 80% of the new covid-19 cases continue to emerge from 10 States, there has been a shift of coronavirus burden from Mumbai and Delhi to States like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The average of daily cases has increased to 65,000 in last few days which was hovering in between 55000-60000 till last week. India as on Tuesday recorded 22,17,879 covid-19 cases and deaths crossed 44500.

Majority of cases are now coming from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra.

While Andhra Pradesh has been recording over 10,000 cases every day for last five days, Chandigarh’s average growth rate of Covid-19 cases at 4.6% has also surpassed the current growth rate of Delhi (0.8%) and Maharashtra (2.4 %). The current national average of daily growth of covid-19 cases is around 3.25%.

“There has been a shifting in epicenters of Covid in the last one month whereby Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have maximum growth rate while Delhi is faring much better," said Dr Suneela Garg, Director Professor, Department Of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College.

The country has also scaled up testing which public health experts claim is the reason of increase in number of cases.

“With increased testing, India could soon emerge as the top country affected by the pandemic globally. India is currently the third most affected country from the Covid- 19 pandemic. While the testing rates have increased by 240% since July beginning, the covid- 19 positive cases have increased by almost 325% in the same period," said Himanshu Sikka,Lead - Health, IPE global, an international healthcare development consultancy.

“This is an alarming trend and strengthens the numerous studies that suggest that with increased testing, India could very well emerge as the top country affected by the pandemic," he said.

The coronavirus continues to spread and infect all section of the society ranging from politicians to persons in entertainment industry. Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday announced on twitter that he has tested positive for the covid-19 while on a hospital visit for a separate procedure.

Mukherjee, 84, who remained India's president between 2012 and 2017 tweeted, “On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for COVID19 today. I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for COVID-19. #CitizenMukherjee."

The best part with India’s disease situation is that the country’s covid-19 recoveries crossed 1.5 million on Tuesday with 15,35,743 covid-19 patients cured of the disease. With the highest ever single day recoveries of 54,859 in the last 24 hours, the Recovery Rate amongst the covid-19 patients has scaled up to almost 70% and the case fatality rate of covid-19 in India decreased to 2% on Tuesday.

“India has so far been successful in keeping the fatality rates low and recovery rates high. However, with opening of economy as pandemic penetrated deeper in the country, the situation could soon deteriorate," said Sikka.

So far the covid-19 epicentre was concentrated in bigger cities such as Mumbai, Ahmadabad and Delhi which could control and handle the situation due to better health systems and infrastructures.

“With opening of the economy, as the pandemic penetrates its tier 2 and 3 cities and rural hinterlands, the situation could soon deteriorate with weak health systems not being able to cater to the pressures posed by the pandemic, especially in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh," said Sikka adding that India has fast paced its testing and tracing infrastructure, but much more is required. Innovations for mass testing and screening protocols need quick adoption and scale-up.

While India continues to deny the onset of community transmission, community medicines experts advice to practise prevention measures to limit virus spread.

“If community transmission begins to occur, isolation and quarantine will have limited or no role to play," said Garg adding that community driven social changes will then play an important role in containing the spread such as wearing masks, washing hands regularly and maintaining social distancing. Lockdown in specific clusters will also be required.

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