COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise more rapidly in India as the overall case count surpasses 46,000.
The COVID-19 curve has been described by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as relatively flat, with claims that a peak in cases “may never come” if work is done collectively, according to the Health Ministry in its daily briefing. “During lockdown and containment activities, we have been able to control cases relatively,” said Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal.
These claims — at least in recent days — appear to contradict the current case counts. Over the last four days the additional COVID-19 daily case counts have escalated rapidly, with 2,212, 2,547, 3,060, and 3,932 cases being added respectively across the May 1st to May 4th period. This represents a near doubling of daily cases over just a four day period which, while not exponential, is a very rapid increase.
Should the rate of increase continue along these lines then India can expect to see cases surge to the levels seen in many European countries, or even that of the United States — in which case counts now account for a third of the global total.
The rapid increase is not unprecedented. Such was the case in both the US and Europe, in which case counts stagnated, often for a period of weeks, with figures never rising above a few hundred a day. After a few weeks of this situation a rapid increase was observed in many nations, showing a significant rise and then a plateau upon which overall daily increase figures remained high, but stable.
The rapid rise in cases comes amidst the backdrop of the announcement of an elongated quarantine period. Last week, the Government announced that the COVID-19 lockdown will be extended for two weeks as of May 4th. Given the current increase in cases, a removal of the lockdown at this stage could result in an overwhelming surge of cases that could threaten to overwhelm the nation.
As of the time of writing there are 3,671,660 COVID-19 cases globally, with 253,235 deaths resulting from the pandemic. 1,211,208 individuals have recovered, leaving 2,207,217 active cases. In India there have been 46,476 cases to date, with 1,571 deaths occurring due to the virus so far.