Global Statistics

All countries
547,505,666
Confirmed
Updated on June 24, 2022 10:11 am
All countries
519,712,577
Recovered
Updated on June 24, 2022 10:11 am
All countries
6,347,898
Deaths
Updated on June 24, 2022 10:11 am

Global Statistics

All countries
547,505,666
Confirmed
Updated on June 24, 2022 10:11 am
All countries
519,712,577
Recovered
Updated on June 24, 2022 10:11 am
All countries
6,347,898
Deaths
Updated on June 24, 2022 10:11 am
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Why Is India Having A Covid Surge

How Did The Outbreak Get So Bad

Why India has been overwhelmed by a second Covid surge – BBC Newsnight

That question continues to puzzle experts. Back in early February, hospitalization numbers had plummeted, and India was reporting about as many new cases per day as New York state, despite being 50 times as populous. The only likely explanation was widespread immunity, epidemiologists said at the time.

India is now the epicenter of the global pandemic and a focal point of international concern. The country reported more than 350,000 new cases on Monday alone, breaking daily infection records for the fifth straight day.

Experts are starting to think that immunity in India may not have been as widespread as previously believed. Some scientists argue that earlier waves of infections primarily affected the poor, but the current surge is reaching wealthier people who had just started socializing again after staying home during the first wave.

Large group gatherings may have also played a role: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticized for lifting virtually all restrictions and holding massive political rallies, and a religious festival that drew tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims from all over the country has been linked to more than 100 cases.

Lessons For Africa From Indias Deadly Covid Surge

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    The surge in COVID-19 cases in India, spurred by a more transmissible variant and complacency, provides a stark warning to African populations to remain vigilant to contain the pandemic.

    India has been grappling with a deadly COVID-19 surge that hit the country like a cyclone in early April. Within a month, new daily cases peaked at over 400,000. On May 19, India set a global record of 4,529 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours. The true numbers of both counts are likely to be much higher due to testing limitations. Conservative estimates indicate India has experienced over 400 million cases and 600,000 deaths overall.

    India’s hospitals are overflowing with patients in the hallways and lobbies. What hospital beds are available are often shared by two patients. Thousands more are turned away. Entire families in the cities are falling ill, as are whole villages in some rural areas. Countries in the region, such as Nepal, Thailand, and Malaysia, have also experienced a sharp uptick in cases fueled by the highly transmissible Indian variant.

    India’s surge is also remarkable considering the country largely avoided the worst of the earlier stages of the pandemic.

    “India’s COVID-19 surge is a warning for Africa.”

    So, what has been driving India’s COVID-19 surge and what lessons might this hold for Africa?

    Why Indias Second Covid Surge Is So Much Worse Than The First

    Large gatherings and much more lenient restrictions have allowed the virus to spread at devastating levels

    • Print

    Indias relatively mild first wave of COVID last year intrigued scientists and led the countrys leadership to declare what turned out to be a very premature victory over the novel coronavirus. The current surge has been much more deadly. Some researchers and media outlets have pinned the blame on new viral variants, which early studies suggest may be more transmissible than the original strain. But many experts familiar with the situation on the ground argue that large gatherings and crowds in closed, compact urban spacesin contrast with the draconian lockdown imposed during the first waveare driving most of the spread.

    I think this is an important lesson to other countries. It is complacency and poor leadership that caused the surge, says Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine in the infectious diseases division at the Emory University School of Medicine. The sudden new spike simply overwhelmed Indias already ailing health infrastructure. Sumit Ganguly, a political scientist at Indiana University Bloomington, calls it the chronicle of a disaster foretold.

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    What Is The Proper Way To Wear A Mask To Help Prevent Coronavirus

    Wearing a mask is only effective when it is done in the right way. Here is a brief guideline from the WHO — Clean your hands before you put your mask on. Also, sanitize your hands before and after you take off your masks. Try to use double masking layering up a cloth mask with a surgical mask. Another important thing to keep in mind when wearing a mask is to make sure that your mask is covering your nose, mouth, and chin.

    Why Kerala Is Still In The Grip Of Indias Second Wave Of Covid

    A COVID

    National cases are at record lows, yet in state that excelled in handling first wave rates have stayed high since May

    As Covid-19 swept through India last year, there was one state that was always seen to stand out in its handling of the pandemic.

    The Kerala model became a byword for success in containing the virus, named after a series of measures introduced early on by the south Indian state, including rigorous and focused testing, containment, community support and contact tracing. The state boasted the lowest death toll from the virus and Keralas now-ousted health minister, KK Shailaja, became known as the Covid slayer and was named Vogue Indias woman of the year.

    Yet as Indias nationwide Covid cases have fallen to record lows after the devastating second wave in April, Keralas cases have consistently remained high since mid-May. Last week, the state accounted for almost 70% of Indias new Covid-19 cases and the states positivity rate continues to hover at about 17%.

    Almost 68% of total cases in the last week were from Kerala. Were still witnessing the second surge, its not over, said national health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, last week.

    Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, vice-chairman of the Kerala State Indian medical association, said it was important to emphasise that Keralas trajectory of Covid had always differed from the rest of the country.

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    India’s Covid Tally Sees Sharp Surge As Kerala Revises Caseload Adds Backlog Of 563 Deaths

    Registering a hike in the Covid death toll, the state of Kerala on Saturday added a backlog of 563 deaths taking the number of covid fatalities in India for today to 666.

    Kerala recorded 9,361 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, informed the health department in a press release. In addition to this, 292 deaths till June 14, which had not been confirmed due to the lack of enough records, have been included. With these total deaths have climbed to 27,765.

    Earlier, the Kerala government had notified that it will soon add a backlog of around 7,000 Covid-19 deaths, or old fatalities that had previously gone unreported or misreported, to its toll.

    Also Read: India Registers 16,326 New Covid Cases, Active Cases Decline to 1,73,728

    There was no deliberate attempt to exclude deaths of so many from the tally. We have been following ICMR guidelines regarding Covid-19 deaths, but due to some technical glitches, these deaths were left out. We will revise the list again, the minister had replied dismissing the charges leveled against the state.

    As many as 80,393 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. The local bodies have been categorized on the basis of the weekly infection population ratio . WIPR is above 10 in 211 wards of 158 local self-government bodies. 2,81,286 people are currently under observation in the state. Out of this, 2,72,412 people are under home/institutional quarantine and 8,874 people are in hospitals.

    Not Maintaining Social Distancing

    In the meeting, the centre said that people are not following the most important step to curb the virus spread ‘2 Gaj ki Doori’. Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Whenever you are out make sure to maintain physical distancing which means keeping a distance of at least 1m from each other. Also, it is best to avoid crowds at this point in time. And still, if you are required to have your presence in a crowd, make sure to stay alert and maintain the pandemic protocols.

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    What Has The Government Done About It

    India is making coronavirus vaccines available to anyone over age 18 starting May 1. It is also curbing the number of coronavirus vaccines that it exports and focusing on distributing those doses to citizens.

    Some cities and states have announced new lockdown restrictions, including curfews and bans on travel and nonessential activities. Modi, meanwhile, has said that lockdowns should be a last resort and declined to institute one nationwide.

    Modis administration is sending oxygen tankers on Oxygen Express trains to parts of the country that are facing urgent shortages, and freeing up military stockpiles of medical equipment. Armed forces have been deployed to hospitals. But the government has also ordered social media platforms to take down critical posts that call attention to the catastrophic state of affairs in India, which many see as a case of misplaced priorities.

    Pressure Rises For India Lockdown Surge Breaks Record Again

    Why India’s Covid Surge Matters To The Entire World | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

    NEW DELHI Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced growing pressure Friday to impose a strict nationwide lockdown, despite the economic pain it will exact, as a startling surge in coronavirus cases that has pummeled the countrys health system shows no signs of abating.

    Many medical experts, opposition leaders and even Supreme Court judges are calling for national restrictions, arguing that a patchwork of state rules is insufficient to quell the rise in infections.

    Indian television stations broadcast images of patients lying on stretchers outside hospitals waiting to be admitted, with hospital beds and critical oxygen in short supply. People infected with COVID-19 in villages are being treated in makeshift outdoor clinics, with IV drips hanging from trees.

    As deaths soar, crematoriums and burial grounds have been swamped with bodies, and relatives often wait hours to perform the last rites for their loved ones.

    The situation is so dramatic that among those calling for a strict lockdown are merchants who know their businesses will be affected but see no other way out.

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    Where Are We With Case Numbers

    A number of states reported their highest fatalities in a single day on Wednesday – including the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the south.

    The western state of Maharashtra, which has had the highest caseload throughout the pandemic, reported 920 deaths.

    However, experts say the tally could be far higher due to reduced testing, and under-reporting of deaths.

    In a weekly report, the World Heath Organization said that India accounted for nearly half the coronavirus cases reported worldwide last week, and a quarter of deaths.

    An Indian delegation that travelled to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in London this week, is self-isolating after two of its members tested positive for Covid-19.

    India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar travelled with the delegation to London, and says he will attend the rest of the summit virtually.

    India Recorded Highest Single

    As India recorded the highest single-day rise of 1.03 lakh new COVID-19 cases, the Centre has convened another round of meetings with chief ministers and state health ministers over the next three days amid growing calls on Monday to open up the vaccination drive against the disease to all age groups. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will on Tuesday hold a meeting with health ministers of 11 states that have been witnessing a surge in cases to review the situation there. The 11 states are Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan.

    The daily rise in COVID-19 cases in India crossed the grim milestone of one lakh from 20,000 infections in just 25 days, unlike last year when it took 76 days for daily cases to reach the then peak of 97,894 on September 17, reflecting the speed at which the virus is spreading.

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    Why Is Indias Health System Collapsing

    India only spends a fraction of its gross domestic product on its health system, lower than most major economies.

    As the virus took hold last year, India imposed a harsh, nationwide lockdown for months to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. This brought terrible hardship to millions, but also bought time to implement measures to plug critical gaps, like hiring additional health care workers on short-term contracts, establishing field hospitals and installing hospital beds in banquet halls.

    But authorities didnt take a long-term view of the pandemic, said Dr. Vineeta Bal, who studies immune systems at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune city.

    Suggestions for permanent improvements like adding capacity to existing hospitals or hiring more epidemiologists to help track the virus were widely ignored, she said. Now authorities are scrambling to resuscitate many emergency measures that had been ended once the numbers fell.

    Read more: Indias capital to go into lockdown as coronavirus cases soar

    A year ago, India was able to avoid the shortages of medical oxygen that plagued Latin America and Africa after it converted industrial oxygen manufacturing systems into a medical-grade network.

    But many facilities went back to supplying oxygen to industries and now several Indian states face such shortages that the Health Ministry has urged hospitals to implement rationing.

    Relatives Scout For Medicines And Oxygen

    India Covid crisis: Hospitals buckle under record surge

    Amid the virus surge, state governments appealed for additional supplies of oxygen and treatment drugs. The federal government said special trains would transport oxygen tankers to needy states, and that oxygen use for industrial purposes would be limited. Meanwhile, the shortages are forcing some people to purchase critical drugs and oxygen from the black market.

    What needs to be done now to bring the situation in India under control?

    Most hospitals across the country now have dangerously low levels of oxygen supplies. It is important that private players and industry join forces with the government to increase capacity.

    Moving forward, I think state governments should act appropriately and adapt their measures to the evolving situation.

    It is important to restrict gatherings in public places like shopping malls and cinema halls, among others. A nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the virus will be an extreme step and it will be economically disastrous.

    Could we have prevented the current worrying situation in India?

    We came to know about the new variant circulating in India in February, from reports coming out of Maharashtra. Now it has spread to many states and countries. Had we acted with more alacrity when it was first detected, we might have been able to lessen the impact.

    Read Also: Did Hank Aaron Get Covid Vaccine

    How To Maintain Social Distancing In A Park Or During An Outside Workout

    Well, it is safe to not work out in the open parks for the time being since there is a sudden surge in the cases. People who sneeze or cough spread droplets with a bigger force, but also people who just breathe will leave particles behind. According to the scientists, the risk of contamination is the biggest when people are just behind each other, in each other’s slipstream.

    Here’s what you need to follow: For walking, the distance of people moving in the same direction in one line should be at least 4 5 meters, for running and slow biking it should be 10 meters and for hard biking at least 20 meters.

    Why Are There Oxygen Shortages

    Typically, Indias hospitals and medical clinics use only about 15 percent of the liquid oxygen produced in the country. Recently, however, nearly 90 percent of the countrys total supply has been diverted to health-care facilities, Rajesh Bhushan, a senior health official, told the BBC.

    Since some Indian states do not have plants where they can produce their own liquid oxygen, they have to wait for supplies to be trucked in from other parts of the country. Filling up an oxygen tanker takes two hours, according to the BBC, which has led to lengthy lines outside oxygen plants. Once full, the tankers can only drive at 25 mph and travel during daylight hours.

    As demand soars in crowded hospitals, some critics say that the government should have been better prepared. In October, Indias health ministry announced a plan to build more oxygen plants, but so far only 33 out 162 have been constructed. Modi announced plans for another 551 oxygen plants one for each district on Sunday. The prime minister has ordered that those be made functional as soon as possible, a news release from his office stated, but it may already be too late for many of the patients who are dying due to oxygen shortages at hospitals across India right now.

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    How Will The Crisis Affect Indias Vaccine Rollout

    India launched its vaccine drive on 16 January 2021, mostly relying on Covishield, a version of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India. A smaller number of people get Indias domestically developed Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech.13 The government had set a target of vaccinating 250 million people by July. So far India has vaccinated about 117 million people, according to Oxford Universitys Our World in Data, and around 17 million have received the full two doses of a vaccine.

    The government has stopped exports of Covishield, a decision that has affected vaccine rollouts all over the world, including the global COVAX initiative. Reports allege that the government has approved a $610m grant for the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to ramp up production in the days ahead, which some critics said should have been done before the second wave.14

    Approval and import of other vaccines has been slow, with the likes of Pfizer facing requests for further domestic clinical trials. The government could have allowed more vaccines to be imported, for the large segment of the urban population who may be willing to pay the price, said Kutty. It would ease the pressure on the public infrastructure, which is under great strain.

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