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Apprehensive About Covid Third Wave, Could Hit India By End Of August: Know All About It

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New Delhi: Even as fears continue unabated with regard to the next wave of the coronavirus pandemic, several studies have found the Covid-19 third wave could hit India by the end of August.

Earlier on July 7, the active Covid-19 cases in the country increased after 55 days. India’s count of active cases increased slightly to 460,704, after 45,892 new Covid-19 cases were recorded.

READ: Centre Revises Rates For Procuring Covishield & Covaxin, Places Order To Get 66 Crore Doses: Report

The cases increased yet again on July 14 when the active cases went up by 2,095. The data released recently by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry showed 73 districts still have a positivity rate of over 10 percent, which means 10 people turning out positive from 100 tested. The northeastern states together account for 47 districts with high positivity rate.

The Central government earlier on Friday said the possibilities of new outbreaks of the viral infection cannot be ruled out and added the next 125 days would be very critical in order to contain the disease.

Niti Aayog Member (Health) Dr V.K. Paul stressed on adopting Covid-appropriate behaviour and said there is a need to stop the infection from transmitting now.

The stabilising trend in Covid-19 cases can be confirmed by regular and rapid fall in the weekly drop in the active and daily cases in last two months.

The active caseload burden came down by 22.61 percent in the week, which ended on May 27 and the fall witnessed further decline in the next two weeks by 30.18 percent and 31.44 percent between May 28-June 3 and June 4-10 weeks respectively.

Adding to concerns regard the third Covid wave, India then began witnessing a dangerous sign as the rate of fall of active cases quickly came down week after week.

The week, which ended on June 24, witnessed a drop of 23.26 percent in the active Covid-19 caseload burden that got further reduced to 16.84 percent in the week that ended on July 1, 10 percent in the week that ended on July 8 and 6.17 percent in the last week that ended on July 15 with the country’s current active caseload burden at 4,30,422 cases.

The decline in the number of daily cases has also slowed down. The daily fresh cases saw their lowest point this month so far on July 12 with 32,906 cases but since then the number has increased and the cases have stuck in the range of 40,000 cases regularly.

3,91,232 cases were recorded on May 8, while it came down to 1,75,167 cases on May 31 and further dropped to 46,979 cases on June 30.

The average of confirmed cases touched the lowest so far on July 12 with 36,349 cases but after that the continuing average has started increasing day by day and the current average is 39,125 confirmed cases a day.

The daily recovered cases are still above the daily fresh cases, but the scale has rapidly declined. 2,59,551 new cases were recorded on May 20 against 3,57,295 Covid patients recovering on the same day.

Moreover, reports of an increase in the ‘R’ factor or reproduction rate of the coronavirus in some states and Union Territories has raised fresh concerns.

Indicating the speed at which the Covid-19 infection is spreading in the country, the ‘R’ factor is the mathematical representation that acts as an indicator for how fast the infection is spreading.

Researchers at the Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) revealed that the R-value for coronavirus has gone up for the country.

Their analysis revealed that it has gone from 0.78 on June 30 to 0.88 in the first week of July. This is despite the nationwide tally of new cases remaining low, PTI reported.

This analysis has further raised concerns with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic as several states and Union Territories are gradually in the process of unlocking courtesy a decline in cases.

As per the analysis, the overall R-value in India was estimated to be 1.37 between March 9 and April 21 when the Covid second wave was at its peak. It, however, declined to 1.18 between April 24 and May 1 and then to 1.10 between April 29 and May 7.

The R-value, which was later estimated to be around 0.98 between May 9 and 11, came down to 0.82 from May 14 to May 30.

The R-value was 0.78 from May 15 to June 26 and 0.88 from June 20 to July 7.

In view of the same, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) earlier on Wednesday issued an advisory to the states and Union Territories to ensure Covid Appropriate Behaviour is followed by all.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, who has written to the Chief Secretaries and Administrators of the states and Union Territories in this regard, pointed out that the increase in ‘R’ factor (reproduction number which indicates the speed at which infection is spreading) in some of the states is a matter of concern.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier on Friday interacted with the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala to discuss the Covid related situation.

ALSO READ: European Drug Regulator Says ‘No Application Received Yet’ For Covishield Authorisation

Reiterating that corona is not over, Prime Minister Modi emphasized need to follow protocol and avoid crowding as many states in the meeting have metropolitan cities with dense population.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came as the conditions particularly in Kerala and Maharashtra, which are witnessing an increase in cases, are similar to the situation before the second Covid wave in the country.

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