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India’s Covid-19 case count starts slowing down

India’s Covid-19 case count starts slowing down

India’s daily count of coronavirus cases increased by less than 40,000 for the fifth consecutive day on Friday, with health ministry data showing 36,595 fresh infections during the last 24 hours.

The daily rate has come down after the sudden surge in the festive season which saw Delhi being the worst hit.

Home to over 130 crore people, India has less than 4.5 lakh active coronavirus cases currently even as a chorus for re-imposition of a restricted lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic is getting louder. The total number of tests in the country stands at 14.5 crore.

As on December 4, the number of active cases in India was 4,16,264. This means that less than one person among 3000 is infected by the virus. This is lower than several other including Brazil, Russia, Italy and France besides the US.

According to Worldometers, a data collation website, the number of active cases in the US now has 5,690,940—the highest in the world, France has over 2,000,000 and Italy, over 759,982. Brazil and Russia – both members of the BRICs block have over 5,87,000 and 4,74,000 cases respectively.

In India, though the total number of coronavirus cases stands at over 95 lakh– the second highest in the world after the US, recoveries have been healthy. Over 90 lakh patients have recovered. Maharashtra has the maximum number of active cases in the country at 85,535 followed by Kerala at 61,217 and Delhi at 29,120.

<strong>Lockdown ruled out</strong>

Late last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with the state chief ministers to take stock of the coronavirus situation. Though there have been reports suggesting that a few states could impose another lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, sources said that “the measures will not be as stringent.” A few states including Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have imposed Section 144, while Gujarat put in place a night curfew. Under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code congregation of four or more people is not allowed.

“We could have restrictive measures to discourage people from congregating and visiting markets depending on the local administration or even some places may look at imposing night curfews
but a stringent lockdown is not feasible,” a government official, on condition of anonymity told Indianarrative.com. Sources said that while Section 144 is in place in many areas, it is more as a prohibitive measure than “a legal proactive mechanism.”

The focus is now on the reviving the economy. The Prime Minister announced a stringent lockdown on March 25, which was in place till May 17, leading to a massive blow to the country’s economy. India registered a GDP contraction of 23.9 per cent for the first quarter of the current financial year. Though in the second quarter, there was a sharp recovery, growth remained in the negative zone with a decline of 7.5 per cent.

<strong>India’s vaccine position</strong>

Meanwhile, India has secured 1.6 billion doses of Covid 19 vaccines, — the highest in the world, according to Duke University's global health innovation centre. The European Union has secured 1.58 billion doses while the US about 1.01 billion, the Duke University revealed. A person familiar with the development said that India should be able to roll out the vaccine by February-March 2021..