Globally, cases of COVID-19 surpassed the 75-million mark globally over the weekend.
A Reuters analysis showed the grim milestone having been reached on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the single largest rise in cases of COVID-19 in a thirty-day period since the pandemic began. In that timeframe, 18.65 million new cases of COVID-19 – the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or, simply, coronavirus – were tallied.
Europe accounted for more new cases than any other region, with 21.6 million new infections. North America, Latin America, and Asia accounted for 17.9 million, 14.5 million, and thirteen million new infections respectively.
At the time of writing, cases of COVID-19 cases number at 77,234,607 according to Worldometer data. More than 1.7 million deaths have been tallied though this tragic figure is outflanked by more than 54.1 million recoveries.
India, too, hit a grim new milestone as its confirmed case count hit the ten-million mark. A million of the country’s total cases of COVID-19 occurred in the last month. However, there is some hope on the horizon for the country which remains the world’s second worst-affected nation in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases thus far – trailing only the United States. It continues to boast a high recovery rate of 95 percent, which the Government claims to be “one of the highest globally.” The Union Health Ministry has said that “recoveries are more than thirty times the active cases.”
“The downward trend in cases has come right after the festive season and the Bihar elections – both factors that many of us were predicting would lead to another spike, but that never happened,” said virologist Dr Shahid Jameel, director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University in Haryana, quoted by The Hindustan Times.
“Part of the reason for that is that while officially ten million people have been infected, this number is at least fifteen to twenty times more if we look at the findings of sero-surveys,” Jameel added. “This, and the fact that millions will get the vaccine in the near future, should see us avoiding another wave.”
The country is gearing up for a mass vaccination campaign, which is projected to reach thirty crore people in the first phase. The initial group prioritised for inoculations includes approximately one crore workers in healthcare facilities; two crore other frontline workers; and 27 crore people above the age of fifty or below the age of fifty with comorbidities that could heighten their risk if infected with the coronavirus. US$7 billion has been set aside for the vaccination campaign.