New Delhi: Coronavirus has created havoc across the country as the nationwide count of confirmed cases inched closer to 2.28 lakh on Friday and death toll reached 6,348. Cases in several metropolitan states like Delhi and Mumbai have doubled since May 1, when government eased restrictions and allowed migrant movements in special trains. Some of these states have seen their tallies rising more than 10-fold. They have attributed repatriation of Indians from abroad for surge in COVID-19 infections. Also Read - Surge in HIV, TB, Malaria Deaths Due to COVID-19
On May 1, the total number of confirmed cases across the country stood at nearly 35,000 and the death toll was less than 1,150, the union Health Minstry’s data had show. However, after a month, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 2,26,770 and the death toll has grown to 6,348 now marking nearly six-fold jump in the case count and an over five-fold surge in the number of fatalities. Also Read - Serum Institute Develops First Indigenous Pneumococcal Vaccine Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
If reports are to be believed, at least 19 states now have their tallies of confirmed cases in four or more digits, as against just nine on May 1. Also, three states now have five-digit tallies, as against only Maharashtra in that category on May 1. Also Read - IIT Kanpur Develops UV Device to Disinfect Room in 15 Minutes
While Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat already have their tallies running into five digits, at least three other states (Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) have total confirmed cases of more than 9,000.
The states and union territories with four-digit or bigger tallies now include Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Besides, Jharkhand and Chhattishgarh have over 800 cases each.
The states that had four-digit or bigger tallies on May 1 itself included Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
In this period, Maharashtra’s tally has actually grown from about 11,000 to more than 80,000, while that of Delhi has also risen manifold from about 3,700 to more than 26,000 and Gujarat from about 4,700 to over 19,000. Among the newer states to see a big surge, Odisha’s tally has risen from less than 150 to over 2,600, Bihar has risen from 466 to nearly 4,600, Haryana has grown from 357 to nearly 3,600 and West Bengal has seen its numbers rise from 744 to more than 7,300.
The rapid surge (in number of cases and deaths) comes at a time when the state and central governments are formulating guidelines for further unlocking from various restrictions that are still in place since March 25.
Earlier on Thursday, the Health Ministry had released SOPs for reopening offices, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and religious places. Some of them have already re-opened in parts of the country and a few others are scheduled to re-start in the next phase of unlocking from next Monday.
On the other hand, a senior doctor at the country’s premier medical institution AIIMS has criticised the government’s policies and communication strategies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was driven by clinicians and bureaucrats instead of epidemiologists and public health experts.
In a letter to the editor of the Indian Journal of Public Health, Dr Anoop Saraya, the head of the Department of Gastroenterology at the AIIMS, said the success of any advisory group of scientists depends on a “culture of openness, independence, and diversity of opinion”.
Earlier in the day, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi shared 5 charts on his official Twitter handle, which purportedly showed how the nationwide lockdown ‘failed’ to control the spread of COVID-19 in India. Taking to the micro-blogging site, the Congress leader shared a graph showing corona cases in Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UK. He compared them with the corona cases in India and wrote,”This is what a failed lockdown looks like”.