The COVID-19 pandemic in India is showing a declining trend, except for two to three states, the government said on Tuesday, noting that it is "particularly noteworthy" vis-a-vis some countries in the northern hemisphere where a severe increase in the intensity of the virus' spread is being seen. The situation related to the pandemic in the world is particularly concerning and it has been seen that countries of much greater economic capability and per capita income, and having a good health system can succumb to a huge second peak, Chairperson of the National Task Force on COVID-19, VK Paul, told a press conference.
"This must be a lesson for all of us," Paul, who is also the NITI Aayog member for health, said. "We are very fortunate that our trend is in the opposite direction. We are fortunate that today we are showing a decline of the (COVID-19) pandemic, except in two or three states. This decline is particularly noteworthy because in other countries of the northern hemisphere there is a severe increase in the intensity of pandemic," he said.
The pandemic, largely in the northern hemisphere, has struck again in several countries. The third peak has come in the US, Paul said, adding that "becoming a bit lax... slowing down surveillance, containment strategies also must be playing a role". He said that Kerala, West Bengal and Delhi are proceeding towards a third peak. This is a matter of concern and there can be no complacency in following COVID-19 "appropriate behaviour" in the coming times as more challenges will emerge, Paul said.
More festivals are coming and "where ever we have faltered in the last few days, it will show in 10 to 12 days", he said. Secretary in the health ministry, Rajesh Bhushan, said that it has been observed that states and union territories like Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi have reported rise in cases during the festival season.
"It is mandatory for all of us to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour in the festival season," he said. Continuous decline in average daily new coronavirus cases has been observed and the figure has come down from 83,232 between September 23-29 to 49,909 for October 21-27, Bhushan said.
"India's COVID-19 case fatality rate has declined from 1.77 per cent on September 1 to 1.50 per cent as on date. India's COVID-19 recovery rate has increased from 76.94 per cent on September 1 to 90.62 per cent as on date," he said. Bhushan also said that 49.4 per cent of new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours were reported from five states and union territories, which are Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi.
Fifty-eight per cent new COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours were reported from Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, he said.