16 Jul 2021: COVID-19 cases declining very slowly, third wave imminent, says government
India's COVID-19 cases are declining "very slowly," the central government noted on Friday, adding that the same serves as a warning signal for an imminent third wave. India reported nearly 39,000 new cases on Friday. The number of daily infections has largely stagnated at 40,000 after witnessing a sharp decline in May when the brutal second wave had peaked in India.
Statistics: India's tally crosses 3.1 crore; 4.12 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Friday morning, India reported a total of 3,10,26,829 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,12,531. So far, 3,01,83,876 patients have recovered, while 4,30,422 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 38,949 new infections, 40,026 more discharges, and 542 fresh fatalities. 39,53,43,767 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Trend: India's second wave peaked in early May
India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September 2020. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the 3 crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the 1 crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the 2 crore-mark on May 4, 2021.
States: 56% infections located in Kerala and Maharashtra
Maharashtra reported 8,010 new COVID-19 cases along with 7,391 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 13,773 new cases and 12,370 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,977 new cases and 3,188 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 2,405 new cases and 3,006 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 2,526 new cases and 2,933 recoveries.
Third wave: 'Decline in cases slowed; next 100-125 days critical'
NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul on Friday observed that India's decline in infections has slowed down. "It's a warning signal," said Dr. Paul, "The next 100 to 125 days are critical for the fight against COVID-19 in India." Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal noted that the trend of wearing masks is declining. Agarwal urged people to continue wearing face masks.
Fact: Modi warned against third wave yesterday
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reviewed the preparations for an imminent third wave of COVID-19 at a hospital in Varanasi. He urged people to remain vigilant and ensure that a third wave does not arrive.
Study: Over 80% post-vaccination infections involved Delta variant: ICMR study
A new study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found that 86% of breakthrough infections (or post-vaccination infections) involved the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of the virus. The study was conducted on 677 samples taken during the peak of the second wave. Notably, 71 had taken COVAXIN, two had taken the Sinopharm shot, while the remaining 604 had received Covishield.
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