A Year Since India's First COVID-19 Case: Situation Better But End Still Not in Sight

By: Ronnan Da Cunha
30 Jan 2021 3:33:41 PM

Today marks one year since India detected its first coronavirus positive case – a 20-year-old medical student from Thrissur, Kerala, studying in Wuhan. And a year later, the country is watching at a possible exit from the pandemic. 


A few weeks after the first case was detected, India had to go into a complete lockdown. The following months saw numbers spiral up, with almost one lakh new cases being added every day and about 1,300 deaths daily. All this, as scores of families were pushed into extreme situations with loss of jobs and livelihoods. 


But today, as countries in the European continent report increasing waves of new cases, India is staring at a steady decline in the daily numbers. In the last 24 hours, the country recorded 13,083 new cases, taking the total caseload to 1.07 crore, NDTV reported. Also, the active cases stand at just over 1.7 lakh, as compared to the 10 lakhs figure a few months ago. 


The coronavirus epidemic followed different trajectories in many countries, as seen in the United States, and countries in Europe, for example. These nations experienced multiple waves with no sharply defined peak, while the curve in China, on the other hand, had a sudden and a dramatic end, the Indian Express stated


Although India’s path appeared to follow a defined ‘epidemic curve’, within the country, each state followed different paths. While Kerala was praised for its handling of the covid-19 pandemic during the initial months, the state currently is logging the highest daily cases in the country. It is the third most affected state, after Maharashtra and Karnataka. 


The detection of new strains of the virus, meanwhile, has not created many problems within the country. A total of 165 people have tested positive for the UK variant in the country so far. 


Situation better, but not the end yet:


Despite the decreasing numbers, health experts continue to stress that safety precautions such as the compulsory wearing of masks and maintaining of social distancing should be adhered to. The worst may be behind, but the end is still not here. 


Additionally, there is no such evidence to prove the long-term immunity against covid-19, both, through natural infection or vaccination. Hence, experts argue that the risk of recurrence still exists.  


India’s vaccination drive continues full swing: 


The Health Ministry, on Friday, stated that more than 35 lakh healthcare workers had been administered the vaccine so far. From February 1, the Centre has asked states to begin the second phase of the programme, which will inoculate frontline workers – police and armed forces, disaster management volunteers, and municipal workers. Simultaneous vaccination of healthcare workers will continue.


Meanwhile, under its ‘vaccine diplomacy’, India shipped free vaccine supplies to friendly neighbours such as Bhutan, Maldives, Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Bahrain. Commercial supplies to Brazil and Morocco have also begun.


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