As hill stations in India witness rush, country’s COVID task force warns of new virus spread

New Delhi: As hill stations in India continue to witness rush, especially on weekends, the head of India’s pandemic task force, a technical expert body that advises the Government of India on issues related to COVID, has again warned that the second wave of the deadly virus is not over yet, and that cases can explode if people continue to behave recklessly.

Dr V K Paul said on Friday that the slow rate of decline was an indicator that the virus could take the “upper hand” if the current situation did not change, The Indian Express reported. Dr Paul was responding to a question on the daily new cases graph that has plateaued over the last two weeks,

India needed to achieve a “baseline” of 10,000 cases for at least three consecutive weeks before it could be said that the situation was under control, the report quoted Paul as saying.

“It is right that the graph (of the decline in the number of cases) has slowed down. It was earlier declining at a faster pace. It only shows that we cannot take the situation for granted. If it is around 35,000-37,000 cases per day, this is almost one-third the number of cases we saw during the first wave peak. The war is not over; the second wave is not over. It is perhaps more visible in some districts and two particular states and the Northeast, but it is still there. As long as this is still rising there, the nation is not safe,” he said, according to the report.

On Friday, the Health Ministry data showed that 80 per cent of new cases were now coming from 90 districts in the country. Six states have 10 or more of these districts — Maharashtra (15), Kerala (14), Tamil Nadu (12), Odisha (12), Andhra Pradesh (10), and Karnataka (10).

“With a lot of effort and difficulty, we have reached a situation where cases are on the decline. The situation is bad only in a few districts. But all this can be snatched away from us because we have not contained the virus completely. If we give the virus an opportunity, and chains of transmission are launched…this is something we cannot afford,” Paul said.

Meanwhile, India on Saturday reported 42,766 COVID cases in last 24 hours, pushing the country’s total tally to 30795716, according to data from the health ministry. This is fourth day in the last six days that the daily new cases are hovering above 40,000 mark. On July 6, the country reported 34,703 new Covid cases, the lowest in 111 days.

In the past 24 hours, 1,206 more people lost their lives due to Covid. This is a jump of over 300 lost from yesterday. With this, the country’s total death toll stands at 40,7145.


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