Updates on COVID-19 in India Today: It all started in the year 2020, sometime in the month of December/January. A whole year went by with fear, anxiety, deaths, hospitalization and a lot more. This is something that history will never be able to forget.
Current Situation in India
This is the second wave of the pandemic in India. As we all know, this is a global pandemic and most of the countries are going through a lot of pain and suffering. On Sunday, 18th April 2021, India reported 2, 61, 500 new COVID-19 cases and a ‘sad’ 1,501 deaths. This is in accordance to the data of the health ministry. This is the ‘worst’ ever one day spike in this pandemic. You can say India is in a real pathetic state.
At present, our country has 1, 47, 88, 109 total cases and the fatalities are 1,77,150. This second wave of COVID-19 is spreading at a faster rate as compared to the first wave. This was stated by the health minister.
The PM, Narendra Modi, asked the concerned officials to use the pharmaceutical industry for meeting the demand for different medicines required for the treatment of this virus. Stress was laid on Remdisvir.
Different Norms and Numbers for COVID-19 in Delhi, Maharashtra and other States
- The Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr. Kejriwal, has declared a lockdown for one week due to the ongoing surge of the coronavirus cases. This was from Monday, 19th April 2021 to 6 a.m. on 26th April, 2021. Food services, essential services and medical services are allowed to operate. Weddings can be held with the minimum 50 people gathering. There will be separate passes issued for this.
The Chief Minister appealed to the people of Delhi to follow the lockdown strictly to ensure there is a fall in the rising infections. He assured that the health system will be improved during this time of the lockdown.
- Maharashtra, on the other hand, has strict restrictions similar to the lockdown. Experts have also called for a ‘self-imposed’ lockdown in Gujarat. In Rajasthan, the government has closed down offices and also markets from Monday to the 3rd of May.
- Madhya Pradesh witnessed a single day spike that was the highest of 12, 897 covid cases. 79 patients succumbed to this deadly virus. In this state, the infection rose to 4, 20,977 cases. In the month of April, this state has recorded 1, 25,466 cases and a high of 650 fatalities.
- The government of Tamilnadu imposed a night curfew between 10 in the night to 4 in the morning. This was after the surge of the coronavirus cases in the state. The curfew came into effect from the night on April 20, 2021. According to the government, no private or public transport will be allowed during this curfew.
The government has also postponed the board exams of class 12 but the practical will be held as scheduled. On Sunday, this state recorded the highest spike with 10,723 more infections. This pushed up the cases to 9.91 lakh. With 42 new deaths the toll reached 13,113.
According to the medical bulletin, the number of recoveries climbed to a good 9,07,947 with 70,391 active cases and 5,925 patients being discharged. The number of specimens that were examined were 2.11 crore.
- West Bengal witnessed a massive surge in the coronavirus cases with the numbers soaring to 6, 59,927 cases.
28 fresh deaths pushed up the death toll due to the virus to 10, 566. The highest number of cases was reported in Kolkotta with 2,197, followed by the North District of Parganas with 1,860 cases.
First Wave v/s Second Wave of COVID-19
The second wave in India has witnessed the elderly being more vulnerable to the virus; this is similar to the first wave. There has been a marginal increase in the number of the young getting affected as stated by the director general, Dr. Balram Bhargava of the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).
The coronavirus cases started rising from the first week of March after the first peak of the first wave in September 2020. This signaled the arrival of the second wave.
During an analysis of the 1st and the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit India last year, the DG of the ICMR said there were no major changes in the age groups affected by this virus.
Based on the study conducted in the second wave of 1,885 patients and in the first wave of 7.600 patients there was 70 percent of the patients are more than 40 years of age.
The analysis also proved that there were more asymptomatic patients in the second wave. Addressing the media, he said that there was no difference in the number of deaths in the hospitalized patients.
The requirement of oxygen is higher in the second wave but the requirement of ventilator has gone down. Bhargava appealed to eliminate any wastage of oxygen.
VK Paul, a member of the NITI Aayog, advised on using Remdesvir in moderate stages of the illness on hospitalized patients, on oxygen, and not in home settings.
The Indian Government, in a significant step, announced that all above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated from 1st May 2021.
The Center stated that the procurement, pricing, administration and eligibility of the vaccines will be more flexible in this Phase 3. This is the largest vaccination drive on a global level.
The vaccination drive by the Center will continue, providing free vaccines for priority and the essential population. This includes people above the age of 45 and the health care workers.
This decision of everyone above the age of 18 is allowed to get vaccinated was taken by the Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, after a high level meeting with the doctors and also the top pharma companies due to the COVID-19 situation in India at present.
The PM said that the Government has put in a lot of hard work for more than a year to make sure that maximum number of Indians can get vaccinated in a short time.
The DGCI (Drugs Controller General of India) has given the authorization of emergency use for 2 covid vaccines, The Covishield of the AstraZeneca that is being manufactured by the SII (Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.
At the same time, giving a big boost to the vaccination program, the drug regulator of India has given permission for restricted use of the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V. The first batch of this vaccine will be arriving in India by end of April. The approval by the DGCI has been received by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.
Economy of India
According to the CEA (Chief Economic Advisor), K.V. Subramanian, as compared to the state of economy in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian economy is in a much better shape now. This is mainly due to the vaccines.
He advised the people of India to be extra cautious as this was the second wave and ensure that they follow all the rules and regulations. He stated the level of uncertainty is lower due to the vaccines. After the outbreak of this pandemic, India went in for a lockdown considered to be the strictest in the history of India. It was during this time the GDP contracted by 24%.
The CEA stated that the one thing that stood out during this lockdown is people embracing digitalization and e-commerce with ease. Almost 800 million people were provided with the required essentials through the PDS (public distribution system). He stated that India was well equipped to welcome the growth that is taking place in e-commerce.
Countries Restricting Travel To and From India
The number of COVID-19 cases in India seems to be exploding with each passing day. The international community is drawing a strict line concerning travel to and from India.
The UK (United Kingdom) on late Monday put India in the travel “red” list with effect from Friday. After this, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in the US put up an advisory that stated, “Travelers should avoid all types of travel to India”.
Hongkong activated an “emergency circuit breaker” on Sunday. This banned all passenger flights from India for a period of 14 days starting from the 20th April 2021. This was followed by New Zealand, who suspended entry from India.
According to the UK, India was put on the “red” list as 103 cases of the variant of the virus identified in India were detected.
At present, airlines such as Vistara, AirIndia, British Airways and United operate their flights to the UK and the US connecting stations like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and more.
What does the future hold?
The second wave of COVID-19 is definitely enormous. It seems that the infections at present times, that is, the second wave, will surpass the numbers of the first wave. Obviously, with the high number of infections, the death toll will also be higher.