The known coronavirus cases in the country have increased to 22,68,675, with 53,601 infections being reported in the last 24 hours.
Health experts have warned that India is likely to top the list of countries with most COVID-19 cases as infections continue to rise. The US, India and Brazil together account for nearly two-thirds of all cases since the world hit 15-million on July 22.
With 53,601 infections reported in the last 24 hours, India has now recorded more than 22,68,675 cases, while the death toll climbed to 45,257 after 871 new fatalities were reported, the health ministry said on August 11.
"India is the third most affected from COVID-19 now, but with increased testing, it could rise to the top. While testing rates have increased by 240 percent since the beginning of July, coronavirus positive cases have increased by almost 325 percent," said Himanshu Sikka, lead-health, IPE global, an international healthcare development consultancy.
The trend was alarming and concurred with the findings of numerous studies which said that with increased testing, India could emerge as the top country affected by the pandemic, Sikka told LiveMint.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The total number of samples tested up to August 10 was 2,52,81,848. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) tested 6,98,290 samples on the day.
"There is a shift in the epicentres of COVID cases in the past one month, with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka having maximum growth rate, while Delhi is faring much better," said Dr Suneela Garg, director professor, department of community medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, told LiveMint.
Despite all the gloom around the pandemic, the silver lining remains the recovery rate. As of August 10, India had 28.21 percent active cases, 69.80 percent of which were either cured, discharged or had migrated. The case fatality rate dropped below 2 percent to 1.99 percent.
"India has so far been successful in keeping the fatality rates low and the recovery rates high. However, with further opening up of the economy, the pandemic is penetrating deeper and the situation could soon deteriorate," said Sikka.
Health officials continue to deny community transmission. However, experts believe that prevention measures must be practised to limit the spread of the virus.
"If community transmission begins, isolation and quarantine will have limited or no role to play," Garg said, adding community-driven social changes will then play an important role in containing the COVID-19 spread.
The confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the world has reached 20 million, according to Johns Hopkins University tally. Health officials believe the actual number is much higher, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40 percent of all those who are infected have no symptoms.
(With agency inputs)Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic