India has been putting up a tough fight against the coronavirus pathogen for almost 10 months now, with the first case of COVID-19 in India, which originated from China, reported on 30 January 2020. At last, there is some good news. According to a panel of scientists and doctors, the coronavirus pandemic has possibly peaked in India in September and the cases are going to plateau further.
Based on mathematical and statistical forecasting on the spread of the deadly pathogen, the panel also claimed that if all protocols are followed, the pandemic can be controlled by end of February 2021 with minimal active symptomatic cases.
The panel, which used the real-time dataset to make the prognosis, claimed that 30 per cent of India’s population was already projected to have developed antibodies, which indicated that they had been infected with the virus. Further, the panel estimated that there would be around 106 lakh symptomatic infections during the course of the pandemic. Currently, the panel claimed, there are an estimated 66 lakh symptomatic infections.
Coronavirus lockdown helped reduce the peak load on our system
The panel also said that in a ‘no lockdown’ scenario, cases would have been at least 14 times of what they actually were in the month of June, when the peak had begun.
Professor M Vidyasagar, chairman of the government-appointed panel said that according to the study’s findings: “Infections would have gone through the roof if lockdown was not imposed. If we had delayed it by two months, the peak would have been smaller than a ‘no lockdown’ scenario but greater than the actual scenario reported,” during the virtual presentation professor furthered: “Lockdown reduced peak load on our system, we pushed the peak to September, beginning end of June. It enabled our system to handle the pandemic much better.”
India maintains a steady declining trend in the number of active Coronavirus cases
The union health ministry also confirmed that India has maintained a steady declining trend in the number of active COVID-19 cases, which has stayed below eight lakh for the third consecutive day on Monday. The coronavirus recovery rate in the country has improved to 88.03 per cent. The virus, in the last 24 hours, has claimed 579 lives, which is the lowest COVID related deaths in the last 3 months.
There are 77,20,55 active cases of coronavirus infection as on date. The total number of recoveries have surged to 66,63,608 and exceed active cases by 5,891,553.
COVID-19 vaccines on its way
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been personally monitoring the coronavirus situation in the country has informed yesterday that India at the “forefront” of vaccine development for Covid-19 with some of the vaccines in advanced stages. India was putting in place a well-established vaccine delivery system, through a digitised network along with the digital health ID, for the immunisation of citizens, said the Prime Minister while addressing the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020 via a video link.
“Our population is four times that of the USA and many of our states are as populated as nations in Europe and Asia. But with a people-powered and people-driven approach, India has kept its Covid-19 death rate very low. Today we are seeing a decline in the number of cases per day and the growth rate of cases. India has one of the highest recovery rates at over 88%. This happened because India was one of the first countries to adopt a flexible lockdown when total cases were just a few hundred, one of the first to encourage usage of masks and work on effective contact tracing,” Modi said.
Bill Gates lauds India’s fight against COVID-19
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates who was also a part of the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020 remarked that India’s research and manufacturing capabilities will play an important role in the fight against COVID-19. He added that India is “very inspiring” as it has taken several steps to improve the health of its people in the last two decades. “And now, India’s research and manufacturing will be critical to fighting COVID-19 especially when it comes to making vaccines at large scale,” he said.
As per reports, India is targeting 30 crore coronavirus vaccine shots by June 2021. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that India is expected to have a Covid-19 vaccine in a few months and the country should be in the process of delivering it to people in the next six months. According to reports, India is likely to begin administering the first round of Covid-19 vaccines to healthcare and essential service workers in January, and pharmacists may be deployed to administer the vaccine in the second phase.
Currently, India stands second behind the US in terms of active cases of COVID-19 as well as total caseload, according to Worldometer. Also, the country is in the dominant position in terms of the number of recovered cases and third in terms of fatalities globally behind the US and Brazil.