Predictions on covid-19 are growing extremely complicated as the number of cases continues to increase across regions as India entered Unlock 2.0 on Wednesday, the government and scientists have reported.
The pandemic curve has been relatively confined and is starting to flatten since the strict 70-day shutdown implemented on 25 March, yet legislators remain mindful of the resulting increase in cases. States like Kerala succeeded in taking down the count of cases during the lockout but the easing of constraints contributed to a second surge. The condition is such that any covid-19 pandemic forecast may be inaccurate, state health experts said.
“The infection was imported and located in urban areas with a concentration in metros in the first two months, but has now moved to peripheral districts and small cities. This movement has given an impression that cases are decreasing in some areas, while in others there is a surge in cases. However, this is about the movement of infections and population,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, professor and head, department of community medicine, Safdarjung Hospital.
Delhi has the highest case load among cities with more than 87,000 cases. “We have increased testing in Delhi. Initially, on testing 100 people, around 31 were found to be positive and today only 13 out of 100 people were found to be positive. These things show that the situation is under control and is not as terrible as it was one month back. However, we have to be cautious,” said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Over the past week, Delhi has been reporting more than 2,000 cases daily. “Delhi’s fixed population is showing less cases for 3-4 days, but new cases will continue because a large number of the Delhi population is floating,” said Kishore.
In all major states affected with covid-19 , Karnataka has also seen a significant increase since it opened its frontiers. In the last two weeks, however, the number of local infections has also increased, indicating the possibility of community spread. The number of cases has risen dramatically in Bengaluru, raising concerns of yet another lockout in the state capital.
Karnataka has now crossed the 15,000 covid-19 case threshold ahead of expectations, and by mid-August at least 25,000 cases are now expected. The state government has asked doctors to be prepared mentally to continue the struggle for another six months.
Health experts said the number of cases will increase because of the onset of the monsoon, which is also a season for influenza. “There will be a greater number of covid-19 cases as the influenza season will come. There will be a double problem. The cases that we are seeing now are reservoirs of the lockdown. Soon after the movement started, the cases also started increasing. We will see a further increase. The disease continues to be unpredictable,” said Lalit Kant, a scientist and former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR.
India’s recovery rate improved to 59.43%. “During the last 24 hours, 13,157 covid-19 patients have been cured, taking the cumulative figure to 357,612. Presently, there are 226,555 active cases and all are under medical supervision,” the Union health ministry said. As on Wednesday, India recorded 601,952 covid-19 cases, with 17,785 deaths.