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Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 14:15 [IST]

Last Update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 08:38 [IST]

Ominous signs ahead

With a record 15,968 coronavirus cases reported in the past two days, the total count in India has risen to 4,56,183. The death toll has gone up to 14,476 as Covid-19 claimed 465 lives in 24 hours. According to Health Ministry figures released Wednesday morning, 2,58,684 have recovered so far while there are 1,83,022 active cases in the country. The recovery rate stands at 56.70% in India. About 10,500 patients recovered in past one day.
With 4 new positive cases reported on Tuesday, the Covid-19 tally of active cases in Sikkim now has risen to 54 at the time of writing this and the total number of positive cases to 83.
On Tuesday, medical research body ICMR validated the 1,000th testing laboratory for Covid-19. Out of these 1,000 COVID-19 testing laboratories, 730 are in government setups and 270 laboratories are in the private sector. Also, the number of RT-PCR tests for detection of coronavirus crossed the 75.5 lakh mark on Tuesday. As of June 23, a total of 73,52,911 samples have been tested and as many as 2,15,195 samples were tested in a day alone.
Across the world, the total number of coronavirus cases has crossed 92.39 lakh cases while the death toll has risen to 4.76 lakh, according to Johns Hopkins University. India is the fourth worst affected country in the world after the US, Brazil and Russia.
The death toll has reached 14,011 after growing 6 percent over the last two days. While the rate of growth of infections is slightly slower than the previous 48 hour period (8 percent), the rate of growth of deaths is slightly faster than earlier (5 percent). The death count in India has nearly doubled in the last sixteen days. The number of infections is now twice what it was nineteen days ago, and given the rate of growth in this period, could hit the 500,000-mark in four days.
Over the past few weeks, new infections and deaths have been rising faster in India than in other badly-hit countries. The country’s death toll is now the eighth worst in the world. Among countries with more than 5,000 deaths, India has recorded the biggest spike in deaths and the biggest jump in confirmed cases over the past week.
The continuing rise in cases poses a severe challenge for India’s strained medical capacity and overburdened health system. Experts are concerned by how quickly the number of new cases are rising. India's density may be contributing to this and we have seen high rates of spread in some of the larger metro areas like Mumbai, Delhi and also Chennai and populous states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The trajectory of cases is very concerning for a densely populated country like India. Given the steady spike and the lag between infection, onset of symptoms and death, numbers will continue to rise in the coming weeks and months. The number of cases in India may be higher than what the data suggests because while testing has been improving, it has not been rolled out in a way that will capture all low-symptomatic patients.
Given the grim outlook, testing needs to be ramped up significantly and broadened to include more people who are not acutely ill. Further, this testing strategy needs to be paired with comprehensive tracing and isolation efforts, particularly given what is now known about the potential for asymptomatic, or pre-symptomatic spread. There is also a need for real support for states that do not currently have the infrastructure required to meet an increase in cases.

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