NAfter the United States, India is the second country where more than five million people have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began. As the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday, more than 90,000 cases had been added in the previous 24 hours. This makes India the country with the highest total number of infections in the world. In the past week alone, around 600,000 cases were added.
The increase in infections is also likely to be partly due to the increased test rate. India currently performs more than 1.1 million tests every day. With a population of 1.35 billion people, the percentage of people infected in India is still lower than in some other countries. At the same time, antibody studies suggest a high number of unreported cases. According to this, almost a third of the population in the capital Delhi could have had antibodies against the coronavirus in their blood as early as July. In some slum regions of Bombay it was even 57 percent.
Unusually low death rate
The same applies to the death rate, which at 1.6 percent is significantly lower than in the United States and Brazil. This is justified, among other things, with the young population. 92 percent of all those affected in India are said to have a mild course of the disease. However, the actual number of deaths is likely to be higher than the official figure of 82,066 deaths.
Around 60 percent of the cases are reported from the five states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra alone has almost 30 percent. It is now reported from various regions that the oxygen supply for intensive care patients is becoming scarce. About six percent of patients require treatment with oxygen. According to the government, there are more than 30 vaccine candidates, three of which are at an advanced stage.
The strict curfew issued in March is cited as one reason for the widespread spread of the virus. It had resulted in migrant workers from major cities returning to their home villages at the beginning of the pandemic. The government defended the move again. The health minister said in parliament on Tuesday that the lockdown had prevented 1.4 to 2.9 million infections and 37,000 to 78,000 deaths. Despite the rising infection curve, the government is sticking to its plan to further relax restrictions in order to revive the severely ailing economy.