Lockdown 4.0 came into effect earlier this week. As it was explicitly hinted by PM Modi in his May 12 speech, this lockdown is drastically different from the previous versions and comes with a lot of relaxations so as to help the country with the much-needed economical impetus. With the increased traffic on roads, offices re-starting their functions, and public transport slowly opening up, a sense of normalcy is beginning to prevail across the country. In fact, with the relaxations in place, our lives are almost getting back to normal. And one might actually get into the mindset that the worst is over for India. But is it really so?
As hinted by WHO Special Envoy David Nabarro in a recent media statement, "When the lockdown lifts, there will be more cases. But people should not be scared. In the coming months, there will be an increase in (the number of) cases." Clearly, the relaxations don't mean that we are done and dusted with the virus. Nabarro has also predicted that despite the increased number of cases there would be stability in India since the country has managed to fare pretty well so far. However, as per Nabarro, India is yet to hit its coronavirus peak and he predicts that we will keep seeing sporadic outbreaks till mid-July, the time, when India should have seen its curve flattening.
Giridhara R Babu, Professor and Head of Life Course Epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India has pointed towards the likelihood of a similar trend. He shared in a recent interview with a news platform that, "If the lockdown is lifted on May 30, then we will hit a peak around mid-July." IMSc Chennai researchers are also of the belief that we are yet to see the worst when it comes to the coronavirus spread in India.
In fact, as per most recent media reports, the worst is yet to come even in the most adversely affected state i.e. Maharasthra. The reports also suggest that Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka have either already hit the peak when it comes to the highest number of active cases or it would happen in a matter of few days.
According to media reports, here's when the infection will hit its peak in some of the worst-hit states in India.
As per IMSc Chennai, the RO figure (a measure to decide infectious a disease is) for Maharasthra has been recorded to be around 1.49 between April 13 and 26 and 1.37 around for the period from April 22-May 4. This is relatively higher when compared to the rest of the country.
The state currently stands at a tally of 35k+ and if that isn't alarming enough, the conditions are going to worsen in the most likely scenario. The reports predict that Maharashtra would hit its peak number of active coronavirus cases sometime around June second week. The numbers are easily expected to hit the 55k mark. In case the situation worsens any further, the state can also see its peak in late August with an even bigger number of active cases.
Tamil Nadu currently stands at a state total of 12k plus and is expected to hit its peak around mid-June. The second most affected state by the coronavirus crisis right now, Tamil Nadu's active count is predicted to hit the 31k mark.
With the total number of cases going beyond 10k, Delhi remains one of the most adversely hit states as well. As per the India Outbreak Report, Delhi is most likely to hit the peak sometime around the third week of June. However, the total number of cases predicted in Delhi even when it hits the worst phase are expected to be somewhere around 16k which is not a huge jump given the current 10k status of the capital.
Gujarat currently has a COVID-19 active case tally of 12k+ and the case rate in the state continues to rise at an alarming rate. The state is likely to hit its peak sometime around mid-July and the total number of active cases is expected to hit the 17k mark.
Right now, Rajasthan is almost at the 6k mark with its COVID-19 cases. The state too is expected to hit its peak around mid-June with the active case count predicted to be somewhere around 7000 by then in the most likely of scenarios.
Madhya Pradesh is currently hitting the 5k+ mark with its coronavirus cases. Under the most likely situation, the state is expected to peak by the end of June with the total number of active cases expected to be around 15,000.
West Bengal is about to touch the 3k mark with the total number of coronavirus cases. As per the expert predictions, the state will most likely hit its peak by June end with an active count of 13k.
We need to remember that relaxations in the lockdown rules don't mean that the pandemic is over and we can do as we please. We remain as vulnerable to the coronavirus infection during lockdown 4.0 as we were in the earlier phases and thus social distancing is our biggest weapon in the current crisis. Stay safe!
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