India is currently under a nationwide lockdown owing to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has already claimed 1,46,872 lives worldwide. The lockdown, which was initially meant to end on April 14, was extended till May 3 after cases continue to spike at an alarming rate in the country. Going by the latest figures, there was an increase of 1,000 new cases in the last 24 hours alone, bringing the current infected cases to 13,387 and deaths to 437 according to official government data.
However, medical experts do have some positive news to deliver during these gloomy times. While the number of positive cases is still on the rise, India's recovery rate has been improving slowly but steadily over the last few days. The recovery rate indicates the number of people who have successfully fought off the disease and are now healthy.
India's recovery rate stood at 13.06 percent on Friday, an improvement over Thursday's 12.02 percent, Wednesday's 11.41 percent and Tuesday's 9.99 percent. In the last 24 hours, 260 patients were declared cured of COVID-19 and discharged from hospitals--the biggest number of recovery so far in India. On Thursday, 183 were discharged from hospitals after they recovered.
The improving recovery rate is certainly a good sign, and an internal assessment by the ministry of home affairs suggests that India may touch its peak of coronavirus cases in the first week of May, after which the numbers will decline. "The next one week is crucial. India is going to ramp up its testing. All those who have symptoms related to Severe Acute Respiratory Infection will be tested," a senior bureaucrat told a news broadcasting channel.
Given that things might be looking up, the government is likely to ease some restrictions in parts of the country that are least affected by coronavirus after April 20 and recently released new guidelines about the same. Non-banking finance corporations and micro-finance institutions will be marked essential services that can resume. Coconut, spice bamboo, areca nut, and cocoa plantations, and forest produce by scheduled tribes have also been added to the list.
Other services being added to the list of essential activities includes construction in rural areas of water supply and sanitation and laying of power lines and telecom optical fibres and cables, according to the ministry of home affairs.
State governments are also reportedly increasing the number of tests being conducted on a daily basis. Hopefully, this positive streak will continue and India will manage to flatten the COVID-19 curve soon. As of now, all we can do is wait and watch, practice all the necessary precautions such as social distancing, and step out only if absolutely necessary.
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