The centre has warned that the coronavirus situation in India is going from 'bad to worse,' and is a risk to the entire country.
Total number of coronavirus cases have crossed the 12 million mark since the beginning of the pandemic. On Tuesday, India witnessed the highest single day rise in daily cases since October at nearly 56,211 cases. While a total of six states are responsible for new active cases, the worry is as many as 10 have started to show signs of upward trajectory.
India's second wave is making its presence felt, and nowhere more obviously than in Maharashtra, the state that was ravaged the first time round. The state reported nearly 31,643 cases on Monday, the numbers being relatively lower due to the Holi weekend.
How is the Second Wave Different From the First?
It's the rapid rise in cases that makes the second wave stand out, indicating that perhaps the virus is spreading faster. Compared to the previous wave in September-October, cases have doubled at a much faster rate. Previously, it took 32 days for the daily numbers to go from 18,000 to 50,000 mark. During the second wave in March, the numbers have reached that level in 17 days, reports Times of India.
In Maharashtra, the case positivity rate, that is the number of positive cases from the samples tested, is at 21%. Mumbai reported nearly 6000 new cases on 30 March.
Fastest Rise to 1 Lakh Cases
Another indication that the spread is much faster this time is the number of days it took India to reach one lakh cases. India went from 4 to 5 lakh cases in just 4 days. Previous fastest rise was 7 days when India went from 8 to 9 lakh cases during the first wave. This is the fastest rise since the beginning of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the health ministry said that they are keeping an eye on the variants. Of 11,064 genome samples sequenced, UK variant detected in 807, South African variant in 47 and Brazilian variant was found in one.
Dr VK Paul, member-health, Niti Ayog, complained that isolation norms were not being followed in most states, adding,
"We are facing an increasingly severe and intensive situation in some districts but the whole country is potentially at risk."
Five States Responsible for Most New Active Cases
Five states are responsible for nearly 80 percent of new cases in India, with Maharashtra responsible for nearly 62 percent of cases, followed by Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab and Chattisgarh.
The center also said that Delhi, taken as one district, is among the top 10 worst-hit districts in the country. Eight of these are in Maharashtra.
While it is too early to say that these cases are leading to more deaths, India has reported nearly 200 deaths every day in the past week, and this is a sign of worry, said Dr Paul.
As several states stare at restrictions and lockdowns, will our continued negligence towards COVID-appropriate behaviours bring us back to the worst of the first wave? How we handle the next few days will indicate if India has learnt anything at all from the pandemic.