Early warning of fresh COVID-19 wave in India?

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: It may be too early to say if India is heading towards a fresh wave of Covid-19, but some states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana are parhaps showing early signs of a resurgence. 

Overall for the country, too, beginning February 6, there have been quite a few days when the active Covid-19 cases have gone up, as compared to the previous day, after staying flat for weeks.

In Maharashtra that had a heavy case load, the graph started flattening last month. But on February 14, it recorded 4,092 new cases, the highest since January 6 when 4,382 new cases were reported.

In Mumbai, the number of daily cases have started climbing over the last few days, especially since local trains started rolling again.

Haryana, which had less than 100 new cases for quite some time now, has started registering over 100 new cases almost every day since February 11. Ditto Gujarat. Health economist Rijo M John said, “The situation in Kerala, on the other hand, seems to be improving.”

‘Rise in corona cases due to increased movement’

India now has 1,34,033 active cases and on February 6, this number went upwards for the first time in a month. Over the last 10 days, there have been six days when the number of active cases have risen, the highest 2,111 registered on February 14.

​Public health researcher Oommen C Kurian said he is not sure whether the rising numbers in some states can be called a resurgence, but did agree that there have been many days in the last week or so when the number of active cases have gone up.

“This is a clear departure from past trends and a cause for concern,” he reckoned. Not all experts, however, are bothered and opine that a second wave in the country may be unlikely. They attributed the trend to life returning to normal with increasing population movements.

“Deaths should concern us more than cases, as with approaching fall in cases, false positives become an issue,” said epidemiologist Amitav Banerjee. He added that as schools, colleges and business opens there could be a spike among young, relatively healthy people which may have less serious impact. If more people without comorbidities start succumbing, presence of a more virulent strain can be suspected, Banerjee added.