New Delhi:

The country is past the coronavirus peak, a government-appointed panel said today, pointing to the tapering number of cases over last two weeks. From a peak of 97,000-plus cases, India is now logging 60,000-plus cases a day. The daily spike stood at 61,871 infections today, taking the tally close to the 75-lakh mark, Health Ministry data this morning showed. The number of active cases remained below eight lakh for the second consecutive day.

Since August 8, India has been logging the highest figures worldwide in the daily spike in cases. Today, in a first in nearly two months, the US had the higher figure.

The panel –which has members of the Indian Council of Medical Research and IITs — said if safety measures are properly followed, the virus can be brought under control by “early next year, with minimal active cases by February end”.

The total number of infections by the time the epidemic reaches its slowest point, could be about 105 lakh (10.5 million), the panel said. The current figure is 75 lakh.  

But alongside the reducing number of cases, pushing the US total ahead of India, there has been a spike in the number of fatalities. Over the last 24 hours, the country also reported 1,033 deaths linked to the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,14,031.  

This is the first time in two weeks that daily number of fatalities went over the 1,000-mark. Last time they were over 1,000 was on October 3 when 1,069 deaths were recorded.  

The highest number of fatalities recorded in the country so far was 1,290 on September 16.

The panel, however, has warned of a possible spike in the festive season and with the onset of winter. Both factors, it said, can increase people’s susceptibility to covid. Festive seasons carry a big risk because of crowds and laxity in maintaining safety measures.

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