Burgeoning COVID-19 cases and fine-tuning hope

India on an average added 8,985 cases daily over the past week, overtaking Russia.

Two public health experts from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, using a mathematical model-based analysis have claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic may be over in India around mid-September. The analysis by these two experts points out that when the number of infected becomes equal to those removed from circulation by recovery and death, the coefficient will reach the 100 per cent threshold and the epidemic will be "extinguished". 

Despite the claims, India’s tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed Spain’s tally to rank fifth in the number of infections. By Sunday morning, it has been reported that the world’s second-most populous nation added 9,971 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 246,628, according to the health ministry’s update. This includes 6,929 deaths and 119,293 patients who have recovered. Over the last 24 hours, India has seen 287 deaths and 5,220 recoveries.

According to reports, India reported more than 9,000 fresh cases for four straight days. Indian Council of Medical Research said a total of 4,666,386 samples have been tested as of 9 am on June 7. Of these, 142,069 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. India on an average added 8,985 cases daily over the past week, overtaking Russia. That compares with Brazil adding 24,915 cases, and the U.S. 21,413 on an average every day in the last one week. India’s confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed the count of France, Germany and China—the nation where the pandemic actually began—among others. On Saturday, India even surged past Italy’s tally, and is now behind the US, Brazil, Russia and the UK, reports said.

While the news reports on India’s position in the COVID-19 world ranking looks pretty awful, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh on Saturday claimed that Northeastern Region has emerged as a role model in more than one way. After emerging as a successful model for development in the last six years, the region has also become a role model in COVID-19 pandemic management. He thinks that by reverting back to normal working conditions, the Northeast has presented a model for the entire country to emulate the same. Without hesitation, the DoNER minister stated this has become possible due to priority and patronage, the Northeast received through the able-leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government in the last six years.

The DoNER minister exuded confidence that in the post COVID era and the Northeast will witness young entrepreneurs making a mark in different fields. He also lauded the efforts of the DoNER Ministry for helping Northeastern states in developing Infrastructure for fighting COVID-19 and playing a coordinating role between Northeast states and various central ministries/department, in various issues which required interventions by central ministries/departments. 

The confidence exhibited by the DoNER minister as far as Northeast India’s fight against COVID-19 (referred to as ‘corona management’) seems to be a little too deep given the fact that even the region where he sees hope are also witnessing burgeoning coronavirus cases. With the lockdown slightly relaxed in areas not considered containment zones, how one should read India’s new world ranking, is the big question now. Is India doing better or worse compared to other countries around the world? What happened to India’s plan to flatten the curve before the ongoing lockdown was enforced. As authorities continue to fine-tune hope, one can only wait, see and tell.

 

First Published: June 8, 2020, 12:01 a.m.