Indicative of the intensity of infection, Kerala and Maharashtra are the slowest to come out of its deadly second wave of coronavirus that jolted India.
According to a report by Times of India, in the week ended Sunday, fresh cases in India fell by 11 per cent but Kerala registered a rise of 7 per cent and Maharashtra logged a decrease of 4 per cent.
Together, the two states accounted for 48 per cent of all new cases recorded in the week with a joint tally of nearly 1.5 lakh.
Meanwhile, the much-feared third wave of coronavirus is likely to hit India by mid-August, while cases may peak in September, a report said on Monday, even as the second wave is not yet over in the country.
The report titled ‘Covid-19: The race to finishing line’, published by SBI Research, stated that vaccination is the only saviour as global data shows that, on an average, the third wave peak cases are around 1.7 times the peak cases at the time of second wave.
A previous report by SBI had more or less correctly predicted that the second wave of infections in India may peak in the third week of May.
Only 4.6 per cent of the population in India is fully vaccinated, while 20.8 per cent have received one dose, much lower compared to other countries including the US (47.1 per cent), the UK (48.7 per cent), Israel (59.8 per cent), Spain (38.5 per cent), France (31.2), among others.
“India has achieved its second wave peak on May 7 and going by the current data, the country can experience around 10,000 cases somewhere around the second week of July," State Bank of India’s Group Chief Economic Adviser, Soumya Kanti Ghosh, said in the report.
“However, based on historical trends, the cases can start rising by the second fortnight of Aug’ 21 with peak cases at least a month later," he added.
Current cases are now hovering around 45,000 since the past week, indicating that the devastating second wave is “not yet over in the country and is exhibiting a fat tail".
“In the first wave as well, the cases declined gradually, with cases around 45,000 for 21 days before any meaningful decline in daily cases," Ghosh said.
Further, 51 cases of the Delta Plus variant have been detected, so far, from 12 states. New cases in the top 15 districts, which are mostly urban, increased again in June. But the good thing is that their fatality rate has been constant for three months.
On the other hand, the share of rural districts in new cases has refused to decline meaningfully since July 2020, when it breached 45 per cent and has fluctuated since then.
“Vaccination seems to be the only answer," Ghosh said.