India registers over 78,000 Covid-19 cases for second consecutive day

New Delhi, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- India on Monday registered over 78,000 coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day, marking the second time in quick succession that it notched up the highest daily number of cases recorded anywhere in the world, according to official data.

With 78,512 fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours, India almost matched its own dubious record of 78,761 cases – registered on Sunday – which marked the highest-ever number of Covid-19 cases registered by any country.

The figure is higher than the 77,299 infections registered by the United States on July 16, and took the total number of coronavirus cases in India to 3,621,245, according to data provided by the Indian health ministry and the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The high number of infections have sustained India’s position as the country where the virus is spreading most rapidly, with its daily tally being more than double compared to the US, which recorded 35,337 cases within the last 24 hours.

The infection curve has kept rising in India ever since the disease was first reported in the country.

The former director of the National Health Systems Resource Center, T Sundararaman, said that the infection curve was shaping up according to the national characteristics of India, including its population of over 1.3 billion.

“It (the virus) takes time to reach from the cities to other less economically developed areas. Once it reaches there, it flares up. Now that the disease has reached all the provinces and districts, we are having almost 80.000 cases per day and I am expecting it to even reach 100.000 per day soon,” he told EFE.

However, with a total of 64,469 deaths – including 971 in the last 24 hours – India’s fatality rate of 1.8 percent is one of the lowest among the worst-affected countries, far below Mexico (10.8 percent), the US and the Brazil, which have a death rate of around 3.1 percent despite having the highest number of cases.

Despite the continuous rise in fresh infections, on Saturday India announced a fresh phase of easing lockdown measures – first imposed on Mar. 25 – in order to revive its economy, which has witnessed an unprecedented slump due to the pandemic.

In the “Unlock 4” phase, set to continue from Sep. 1 – 30, metro train services have been allowed to resume gradually from Sep. 7 amid distancing measures, a move that could help a section of the workforce return to work after facing mobility restrictions for months in the major cities.

Similarly, activities related to entertainment and sports and indoor political, cultural, religious and academic events are set to resume from Sep. 21 with a limit of 100 people.

Restrictions now remain only on the functioning of schools and educational institutes, swimming pools and international flights with some exceptions.

However, full lockdown measures will be enforced in designated “containment zones,” which have reported a significant number of Covid-19 cases recently, at least until Sep. 30. EFE-EPA


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