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Tuesday, Jul 07, 2020 12:45 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Jul 07, 2020 07:10 [IST]

Another grim milestone

There is no let-up in Covid-19 cases in India. India has passed Russia as the country with the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after recording a record number of cases for one day.
According to Health Ministry data, 23,000 new cases were recorded on Monday, taking India’s total to 697,000 and almost 20,000 deaths. On Sunday India racked up nearly 25,000, its highest total for one day. The sharp rise comes as Delhi started treating patients at a 10,000-bed Covid care centre. Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases, followed by Tamil, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. The recovery rate stands at 60.85 per cent, with 4,24,433 patients across the country having recovered from the highly contagious disease. Sikkim recorded a huge spike on Sunday with 22 new cases, taking the toll to 125.
The country was under the nationwide lockdown since the last week of March to curb the virus spread. Several relaxations were made in the last three months to restart the economic activities. However, schools, colleges, gyms, swimming pools are still shut to avoid the spread. The international flights and metro rail have been suspended since, in the last week of March.
Two Covid-19 vaccine candidates — Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited in collaboration with the ICMR and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and ZyCov-D vaccine by Zydus Cadila — had recently got the nod for human clinical trials from the Drug Controller General of India. Both have been approved for Phase II, III trials.
The rapid rise is worrying. To be sure, some of it could be the result of cases coming to light due to increased testing. Yet, with the information on hand, it isn’t possible to say so with certainty.
The real reason may emerge later, but what seems clear for now is that a flattening of the infection curve, whose signs analysts have been waiting for, continues to elude us. India’s infection tally has reached 673,165. Given the pace, it may only be a matter of a week or two before we hit the million mark. Thankfully, the recovery rate is over 60%. This is one reason for relief. Also, our health system is now better prepared to deal with a higher number of Covid patients. Nevertheless, a cure is still far. As the economy unlocks more, it’s possible that people’s risk perceptions drop. If so, it would be a costly mistake. The threat is still high, and caution must continue to be exercised so that India doesn’t end up paying with lives.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi