An atmosphere of apprehension and fear prevails as India currently looks at the 3 lakh mark in terms of the total number of COVID-19 cases. And distressing as the spiking numbers are the health ministry had a hopeful message for the country as the total number of recovered COVID-19 cases exceeded the total number of active cases on Wednesday.
“As many as 5,991 patients were cured of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. This takes the total number of patients recovered to 1,35,205, while the total number of active cases is now 1,33,632. For the first time, the total number of recovered patients has exceeded the active cases. The recovery rate now stands at 48.88%,” the health ministry shared in a media statement.
An official added, “Thus, 48.9 percent of the patients have recovered so far.”
Dr Neeraj Gupta, a professor in the Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, elaborated on the news in a recent media statement and said, “This should provide hope to the people of India at large who are having a mortal fear of the disease." He further added, "But then this should not make them complacent and people should follow social distancing and sanitization guidelines."
Dr Gupta also shared that 80 percent of those who catch the infection in India are likely to have mild disease and then 100 percent recovery from COVID-19.
An analysis of the COVID-19 data recorded since April 19 shows that the number of recovering patients was far behind the daily cases until May end. It was only after May 29 that the gap started narrowing down and the recovery graph started getting better.
One of the main reasons behind India's recoveries catching up to active cases has been the country's low case fatality rate (CFR). As per reports, while 2.8 percent of infected people have died so far, the number of active cases ( which is calculated by subtracting the number of recoveries and deaths from the tally) has been dropping at a steady rate, especially from the end of May.
Looking at India's COVID-19 numbers, Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist, had said that given the country has a population of 1.3 billion, the total number of cases in India might "look big but for a country of this size it's still modest."
While experts are yet to find out if this data has any implications in terms of India's fight with the novel coronavirus, there's some hope in its recovery rate which has exceeded the 49 percent mark for the first time. Here's hoping that things gradually improve from this point.