India has been witnessing a steep rise in its daily caseload of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the past few weeks. A comparison of the government data from a week each of February and March shows that India’s infection tally has swelled by nearly three times.
According to the data released by the Union health ministry, India saw 86,711 total cases of Covid-19 in the third week of February (15-21). In the same period in March, the country recorded close to 2.5 lakh (240,082 to be exact) new cases of the infection. The recent rise in cases is surpassing the surge India saw in December when the country had just come out of a festive month and public celebrations.
In the last seven days, India has recorded more than 24,000 new Covid-19 cases every day, with the highest daily spike seen on Sunday when 43,846 infections were registered.
The gradual increase in the daily caseload in the third week of February did send the alarm bells ringing for authorities, particularly in states like Maharashtra and Kerala, after which the Centre advised them to increase the proportion of RT-PCR tests and regularly monitor mutant strains besides refocusing on strict surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts.
To stop the sharp spike from burdening India’s healthcare system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the chief ministers on Wednesday this week and handed out a five-point plan to fight the deadly infection.
Reiterating his famous slogan ‘Dawai bhi, kadai bhi’ (yes to medicine, yes to caution), PM Modi told the CMs that states will have to step up testing and focus on maximising vaccination. In his five-point plan, the first is Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. In addition to that, the states will have to scale up RT-PCR tests, create micro-containment zones, increase vaccination in both private and government hospitals and stop vaccine wastage.
About 70 districts of the country have seen an increase of more than 150 per cent in the number of Covid-19 cases in the last few weeks, PM Modi said, adding that if the spread can’t be contained now, a situation of a nationwide outbreak can come up. But at the same time, he emphasised not to create panic among people.
Case count in week 3 of February and March (as published by Press Information Bureau):
|March week||Number of cases|
|Februay week||Number of cases|