Covid-19 in India: Daily cases increasing in Delhi, Gujarat, MP; Why it is a cause of concern

In the second and third weeks of February, the curve of daily Covid-19 cases was at its lowest for the country, and then it began to rise.

Coronavirus in India update: The fresh spike in coronavirus infection has started spreading to several states in India. So far, the surge was restricted to Maharashtra and Punjab, but now, it seems like several other states have also started witnessing an upward trend in daily Covid-19 cases. Over the last two days, Delhi has been reporting over 300 cases, something it hadn’t done since mid-January, and even though this figure is nowhere near Delhi’s peak of 8,000 daily cases that it was once reporting, the trend is worrisome because it could point towards a second wave of the virus in India, according to a report in The Indian Express.

The trend of increasing cases is also visible in Gujarat, where this has been happening for three weeks. Over the last two days, however, the state has been recording over 500 cases, something which had not happened since January 17. The state had been recording a steadily declining number of cases, with February 8 recording 232 cases, but since then, the cases have been rising.

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana have also been witnessing similar increases, even as their numbers are nowhere close to Maharashtra’s or even that of Punjab.

While Punjab has recorded over 1,000 cases twice in the past three days, Maharashtra reported over 10,000 cases over the past two days.

Regardless of the numbers, the growth trajectories in all these five states, excluding Maharashtra and Punjab, have been similar recently, with a steady decline being witnessed till February first week, and then the daily cases slowly rising. This is in line with the national trajectory as well.

In the second and third weeks of February, the curve of daily Covid-19 cases was at its lowest for the country, and then it began to rise. The country recorded more than 18,00 cases daily in the past two days, with Saturday’s tally of 18,711 being the highest since January 1.

The report added that considering the absence of travel restrictions, the spike in these states has not been surprising, since in most cases, passengers coming from Maharashtra were not necessarily being screened. Thus, this increase could be a direct result of the rise in cases in Maharashtra, even as the resurgence of cases in the state itself is not properly explicable. Several attributes like disregard of social distancing norms, travel in local trains, family functions, etc, could be seen as reasons, but if that were the case, a similar trend would also be seen in Assam or West Bengal where massive political rallies are taking place ahead of the state elections.

A silver lining among this is: The number of deaths hasn’t been growing yet, even though the fresh surge in daily cases has been witnessed for about a month now. This could mean that the new cases are of mild infections only. But it would still need a bit more time of monitoring before an increase in deaths can be completely ruled out.

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