By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: After a swift decline in Covid-19 cases over nearly one and a half months, daily infections in India have again started to show slight rise over the last two days.
Experts, however, say that this is too early to see a pattern yet and the numbers need to be watched for the coming few days to reach a conclusion.
On Wednesday, 54,069 new cases were reported in the country while on Tuesday this number was 50,848. In comparison, on Monday, 42, 640 fresh cases were registered in India, the lowest single day tally in nearly 3 months.
The weekly rolling average of Covid test positivity rate on the other hand was 3.2 per cent on Sunday and remained at 3.1 per cent on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
While about 54,000 cases reported on Wednesday are still lower than the cases recorded on various days last week, the concern is that the last two days so far are occasions when the cases have risen in comparison to previous days.
In Maharashtra, the total cases reported on Wednesday were 10,066—the highest since June 17 while in Kerala which is leading the states in daily infections, 12,787 cases were recorded, also highest since June 17.
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These two states are among the five so far, apart from Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where delta plus variant—a mutant SARS CoV 2 with the properties of highly transmissible delta variant coupled with K 417N mutation which has been associated with immune evasion has been detected in limited numbers of samples.
Some experts cautioned that while the pandemic has been on a downward trajectory in the country for a while and signs like this should be taken seriously in the context of new information.
“Given that the slight increase in cases is from states that saw early rises in previous surges, it would be prudent to be prepared and ensure optimal testing is in place to be able detect simillar transmission signals across the country,” said the public health researcher Oommen John.
In Kerala and Maharashtra, he said, the delta variants seem to be surfacing so ensuring that the surveillance systems are sensitive to identify large clusters will be critical.
“If surveillance is lax, health delivery systems will bear the brunt and we can avoid being caught unaware by better preparedness as data is key to informing policy response,” he added.
Health systems and public policy specialist Chandrakant Lahariya, on the other hand, said it should be seen as a normal pattern.
“We need to remember that in a pandemic, especially when we know that virus is still around and circulating, it is unlikely that cases would decline every single day,” he said, adding that India has reached a stage when weekly rolling average of new daily cases would stabilize.
“Now onwards, the decline would be relatively slower and we may see a few days when cases would go up and a few days when cases go down,” Lahariya said while pointing out that at this stage, key would be to focus upon the districts specific rather than national and even state averages.