New Delhi: Several scientists have said mathematical models of the progression of COVID-19 show it would be possible for Delhi to have 5.5 lakh cases by the end of July and the community transmission of the disease may have started a while ago. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said on Tuesday that the number of COVID-19 cases could surge to 5.5 lakh by July 31 in the national capital itself at the current rate. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Total COVID Cases Cross 2.25 Lakh-mark, 219 Fresh Deaths

“The model that I used for India found that there could be around 8-10 lakh cases in India by mid or end of July. So it won’t be surprising to get to those figures (5.5 lakh) in Delhi,” said Samit Bhattacharya, mathematics professor and researcher at the School of Natural Sciences at Shiv Nadar University. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Lockdown Extension News: Complete Shutdown in Ballia District Extended Till July 21

Lovi Raj Gupta, executive dean of science and technology at Lovely Professional University in Punjab, also agreed that reaching the alarmingly high figure of 5.5 lakh is possible using mathematical modelling. Also Read - Asia Cup Postponed to June 2021 Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The nationwide COVID-19 tally neared 2.8 lakh on Wednesday with almost one-third of the total cases getting detected in just 10 days of June. On the positive side, the number of recovered patients has exceeded the count of active cases for the first time. New cases continued to emerge across various states and UTs, including in Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

India’s first COVID-19 case was detected more than four months ago on January 30, but it took more than 100 days thereafter to reach the one-lakh mark on May 18. However, the next one-lakh cases were added in just about a fortnight and the tally can hit the 3-lakh-mark this week itself at the current rate. More than 9,000 new cases have been emerging every day for over a week now.

The number of cases in Maharashtra climbed to 94,041 on Wednesday with 3,254 new patients being detected, while the death toll rose to 3,438 with 149 new fatalities being recorded during the day. However, more than 44,500 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the state so far.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said lockdown restrictions have been partially eased to allow the resumption of business and other activities but the COVID-19 threat still persists. He urged people to avoid crowding and maintain physical distancing post easing of the lockdown norms. He hinted the lockdown may get extended beyond June 30 if guidelines are not followed.

In Tamil Nadu, a record number of 1,927 new cases emerged and 19 people died to push its tally to 36,841 and the death toll rose to 326. The state government announced the recruitment of more than 2,800 medical personnel including over 1,200 doctors and also proposed to double the number of beds in state government hospitals to 10,000.

Gujarat, another badly hit state, reported 510 new cases to take its tally to 21,554, while its death toll rose to 1,347.

In Delhi, the total count of cases crossed 32,000 with more than 1,500 new cases getting reported, while its death toll mounted to 984.

(With PTI Inputs)