From 8 Lakh to over 9 Lakh COVID-19 cases in India, it took just 3 Days

It just took three days. COVID-19 cases in India cross 9 lakh after going past 8 lakh-mark. The surge has forced several states to impose fresh curbs. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu remain the two worst-affected states in the country, accounting for 50 percent of the total active cases. The two states account for 1,54,134 of the country's 3,11,565 active cases. 

The total number of confirmed cases rose to 9,06,752 on Tuesday and deaths climbed to 23,727, according to Union Health Ministry Data released today morning. The country witnessed a daily surge of 28,498 cases on Tuesday, the ministry said.

In a press briefing, Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Health Ministry said that Karnataka, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Gujarat and Assam are the other affected states that contribute to 36 percent of the total active cases (1,11,068 cases).

According to him, 22 states are doing more than 140 COVID-19 tests per day per million, in line with the comprehensive testing guidance note by the WHO. The official asked the remaining states and Union Territories to increase testing accordingly.

The health ministry's revelations have come amid nearly a dozen states re-imposing lockdown in selected areas for varying periods to check the surge in COVID-19. In Maharashtra, which has the highest number of cases at 2,67,665, a 10-day strict lockdown came into force from Monday in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. A lockdown has been imposed in Osmanabad city till 19 July to break the chain of the viral spread. With some Haryana districts falling in the National Capital Region seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, home minister Anil Vij indicated that the state may also impose stricter curbs in its worst-affected areas.

Assam had extended the two-week lockdown imposed from 28 June in Kamrup Metropolitan district, under which Guwahati falls, by a week till 19 July from 6 pm on Sunday. After Kashipur, a three-day lockdown has been imposed in Rudrapur and Bajpur in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand with effect from midnight Monday due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, a senior state official said. The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to implement strict restrictions across the state on weekends to check the spread of coronavirus, joining Karnataka and Tamil Nadu which have been imposing Sunday lockdown.

Tamil Nadu had earlier imposed lockdown for varying periods in Chennai, Madurai and nearby regions. Tamil Nadu has the second highest number of cases in the country.

Bihar recorded a single-day spike of 1,432 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, which pushed the total tally in the state to 18,853, the health department said.

Meanwhile, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said that there are two Indian indigenous candidate vaccines, and are expected to start early phase human trials this month.

"They have undergone successful toxicity studies in rats, mice and rabbits. Data was submitted to DCGI following which both these got clearance to start early phase human trials early this month. These candidates have got their sites ready and they are doing their clinical study on approximately 1,000 human volunteers each at different sites," he added.

Union Health Ministry claimed that the total recovered cases of COVID-19 are about 1.8 times the number of active cases. "In many states, the number of daily discharges from hospitals is more than the number of daily admission," Bhushan said.

"Compared to the global case, fatality rate it is significantly lower," he added.

"India's COVID-19 cases and deaths per million in India is amongst the lowest in the world," Bhushan said, noting that India has 657 cases per million population as against 1,638 globally and 17.2 deaths per million as against 73 globally.

Asked when Delhi's sero-survey findings will be made public, Bhushan said these surveys are fairly complex exercises and therefore by definition take time.

In the case of Delhi, it was initially decided that sero-surveillance will take 20,000 samples from 26 June till 5 July but the sero surveillance ended up taking 22,800 odd samples, these are blood samples which are then subjected to ELISA test. This was done till 5 July then testing was done now the testing has finished. Presently different kinds of stratification like gender specification, age stratification, district-wise stratification of data and analysis is being done.

The health ministry assured that the moment sero-surveillance is complete and reviewed internally and shared with ICMR and other domain experts. After that it would be in public domain.