Covid update: India reports over 4 lakh new cases again, fatalities close to 4,000 – Mint

This is the biggest spike in daily new cases India has seen so far. The country had last reported over 4 lakh new cases on Saturday.

The daily fatality due to the disease is seeing an upward spike too with 3,980 more people succumbing to the disease in the last 24 hours. With this, the cumulative death toll in the country has crossed the 23 lakh mark to reach 23,01,68.

Some research models recently predicted that the death toll in India could more than double from current levels.

A team at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore used a mathematical model to predict about 404,000 deaths will occur by 11 June if current trends continue.

However, at the same time, the number of discharges from various Covid hospitals across the country is also increasing. As many as 3,29,113 more people were discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the number of recoveries to 1,72,80,844.

As a result, there are 35,66,398 active cases in India currently. The active tally has been on a steady rise since February this year.

Tests conducted so far

India has tested 29,67,75,209 samples from Covid-19 until now, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Out of these, 19,23,131 samples were tested on Wednesday. Daily testing increased considerably as the number stood at 15,41,299 on Tuesday.

Vaccination in India

The country has so far inoculated 16,25,13,339 people.

The nationwide vaccination drive was rolled out on 16 January with healthcare workers getting the jabs first. The drive for frontline workers started on 2 February.

The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on 1 March for those over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

The country launched vaccination for those aged above 45 from 1 April.

The implementation of the Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy for inoculating those in the age group of 18-44 years started from 1 May amid many states flagging a shortage of vaccines.

Govt on Covid tests

The central said on Wednesday that the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) complements the RT-PCR test and is highly useful in Covid surveillance and containment activities.

This was informed by the government a day after the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) recommended against RT-PCR tests for healthy individuals undertaking inter-state travel to reduce the load on laboratories.

“The Rapid Antigen Test has its own place. It complements RT-PCR and conversely, RT-PCR can complement Rapid Antigen Test, wherever available,” said Niti Aayog member (Health) VK Paul.

“RAT is highly useful in surveillance and containment activities, in screening people where this is a likelihood of transmission. This is a tool available to us for mounting effective surveillance activity and that still stands,” he added.

Containment measures

With the number of infections spiking, 21 states have imposed curfews and lockdowns over the past week. Ten days ago, just five states had statewide lockdowns.

States that have imposed such curbs now account for 81% of India’s population.

The curbs, as well as growing public fear of Covid-19, have led to a sharp drop in public movement, from 89% of normal at March-end to 62% as of 1 May.

Even without a nationwide lockdown, the public movement has shrunk below June 2020 levels in 11 major states. June 2020 was the last month of the nationwide lockdown last year.

In most of India, weddings and funerals have caps on the number of participants, while retail shops have timing restrictions.

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