Cases of COVID-19 in India continue to mount, as the country surpasses more than 6.6 million confirmed cases thus far. However, the recovery rate remains high.
Monday saw continuation of India’s consistently high rate of increase of COVID-19 cases in India in the preceding 24 hours. Infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – or, simply, coronavirus – which causes COVID-19 increased by 74,442. In the same timeframe, deaths due to COVID-19 increased by 903. The country now exceeds 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19.
According to Worldometer data, the current number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 thus far in India stands at 6,641,789. Of these cases, 930,076 are active. This positions India as the second worst-affected country in the world due to COVID-19 in terms of both active cases and confirmed cases, behind only the United States. India outpaced Brazil in the number of confirmed infections so far last month. It is now on track, experts believe, to surpass the United States to become the world’s worst-affected country in the weeks to come.
Data from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, however, does carry some sliver of a silver lining. The country boasts a high recovery rate of 84.34 percent, the Ministry says. This translates to more than 5.5 million having recovered and an active caseload of under one million. In addition, the country has reportedly observed a decrease in its fatality rate due to COVID-19 to the tune of 1.55 percent.
Yet the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India are likely to be an underestimate. As my colleague Nicholas Parry wrote for Health Issues India, “following on from a serological survey assessing antibody levels against the novel coronavirus…nationwide, one of the country’s leading medical agencies weighed in on the situation. More than sixty million people in India – ten times the official figure – could have contracted the novel coronavirus, claimed the ICMR [Indian Council of Medical Research].”
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India thus far could be even higher than that. Al Jazeera reported that it had “spoke to four leading health experts on India’s handling of the crisis.” Among these experts was Sanghmitra Acharya of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, who explained “as per the recent serological surveys done in the capital New Delhi and the financial hub of Mumbai, the ratio of infections to recorded cases are 20:1. Thus, India has more than 120 million COVID-19 infections, instead of the recorded six million.”
At the global level, cases of COVID-19 so far number at 35,472,628 – of which 7,748,728 are active. More than one million have lost their lives to the virus.