India posted its lowest daily coronavirus caseload in nearly four months, data from the health ministry showed on Tuesday, as new cases maintained a decreasing trend from a peak in September.
The country reported 46,790 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to nearly 7.6 million – the second-highest behind the United States. It also reported 587 deaths, taking the total to 1,15,197.
A government appointed committee of experts on the coronavirus pandemic has warned of an exponential increase of 26 lakh cases within a month if Covid-19 precautions are not followed properly during the festive season and the oncoming winter.
The 10-member committee, headed by Niti Aayog member VK Paul, arrived at the figure after conducting a study on ‘Progression of the Covid-19 Pandemic in India: Prognosis and Lockdown Impacts’, based on a mathematical model to map Covid-19 progression.
It also said that district-level and higher level lockdowns are not much effective now, adding that if norms are adhered to, there is a possibility of the pandemic being controlled by early next year.
Stressing on Covid-appropriate behaviour during festival season and winter months, he said, “Because of the winter season, some increase in pollution in north India as well as festival season, we have to be very careful… coming months are a challenge. One would be worried that we could lose the gains that we have made.”
“If we don’t take precaution, if we are not careful, because we are susceptible there can be escalation. God forbid, but we can avoid it…. This is in our hand, whether India has another wave or not is very much in our own hand,” the Niti Aayog member said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India has one of the highest recovery rates because it was one of the first countries to adopt a flexible lockdown. He added that the country is already working on putting a well-established vaccine delivery mechanism in place.