While the five most-affected states in India have recorded a consistent fall in the number of COVID-19 cases being reported on a daily basis, infections are rising unabated in some of the other regions.
On October 27, Maharashtra – the worst-affected state with over 16.5 lakh total cases so far – reported around 5,000 new infections. This is significantly lower than its peak of around 25,000 new cases per day in mid-September. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, have reported 2,000-3,000 new cases – significantly less than what was being recorded during their peaks.
Only nine states reported an increase in active cases on October 27. However, Kerala, West Bengal and Delhi are proceeding towards a third peak according to the NITI Aayog.
This is a matter of concern and there can be no complacency in following COVID-19 "appropriate behaviour" in the coming times as more challenges will emerge, said VK Paul, NITI Aayog (health) member and head of the national COVID-19 task force.
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.
On October 27, Kerala reported a rise of 5,457 case and West Bengal recorded nearly 4,000 new cases in the one-day period. Delhi recorded 4,853 more infections – its highest single-day figure.
The trend is a cause of concern or Bengal as the state’s cases had reached a plateau in September, before rising again.
Delhi’s increase in caseload shows a clear third wave. The first two waves were witnessed in June and September.
Kerala had managed to keep the outbreak under control until June when cases started rising steadily. There was a dip in early-September. However, the infection rate picked up and peaked at around 11,700 new cases on October 11. The daily cases are back in the 6,000-8,000 range.
A day earlier, the Union Health Ministry said that 76 percent of the new confirmed cases had come from 10 states and Union Territories.
“Kerala and West Bengal have contributed the maximum to the new cases with more than 4,000 cases each. Maharashtra, Karnataka follow with more than 3,000 new cases,” the ministry said. This came on a day India reported less than 35,000 new one-day cases – lowest increase in over three months.
As of October 28, India had recorded nearly 80 lakh COVID-19 cases, including 1.2 lakh deaths. Of these, more than 6.2 lakh were active cases while over 72.5 lakh patients had recovered.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic