India reports another 74k cases, Health Min apprehensive over approaching winter

New Delhi, Oct 11 (UNI) India on the 11th day of Unlock-5 reported 74,383 new cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours, surpassing the 70 lakh-mark of cases that have been reported since the outbreak of pandemic in March.

The tally of 70,53,807 includes deaths, migrated cases and even the recoveries. The death toll has now reached 1,08,334 with 918 fresh casualties while 89,154 were cured and discharged in the past one day.

Out of the total cases reported till now, 60.77 lakh have recovered which means that 86.17 per cent people have been cured after getting infected of the highly contagious virus.

The recovery percentage or figure might give the country some strength to brace for winters.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today voiced concern over reports that the number of Covid-19 cases will increase during winter, saying the possibility could not be dismissed in the Indian context at all.

“Coronavirus is a respiratory virus and the transmission of respiratory viruses is known to increase during the colder weather. Respiratory viruses thrive better in cold weather and low humidity conditions. There is another fact that needs to be kept in mind. During winter, there is a tendency of overcrowding in residential dwellings which may increase transmission… So in Indian context, it would not be wrong to assume that the winter season may see an increase in the number of cases”, the Health Minister said.

Winters might not be the only perpetrator, upcoming festive season can too act as one.

The Health Minister said that no God or religion demanded that a festival should be celebrated ostentatiously and people congregate in huge numbers to prove their faith.

Right now the fight against Corona is the paramount religion for the whole world, he added.

“As the Health Minister of the country, protecting people’s lives is my first religion. Festivals will come and go. My religion as a person and as the health minister of the country is to protect people, save lives. My religion is not to waste life. No religion or God says that one needs to go to the pandal or to a temple or to a mosque to celebrate festivals ostentatiously. It is an extraordinary time and its diagnosis should be extraordinary”, the Minister averred.

Meanwhile, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as many as 10,78,544 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, taking the total cumulative samples tested since the beginning of the pandemic till Friday to 8,68,77,242.

“India cannot afford any complacency”

Data suggests that the first Covid wave is now receding for India at large, but the country has to stay ‘very alert’ through the entire festive season. This was observed here on Sunday by thinkers, intellectuals and people from different walks of life, who maintained that “India cannot afford any complacency about the Covid-19 pandemic at all.”

The experts said that the pandemic’s trajectory is likely to be different in different states now which also calls for “monitoring of different types”.

Fear of contracting Coronavirus disappearing

At a time when West Bengal is recording an average of more than 3,000 cases daily, the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led state government will face yet another tough challenge to ensure the virus doesn’t cost more than the celebrations.

As the festival season began, the fear of contracting Coronavirus seems to have disappeared among the people of Kolkata. With less than two weeks to go for Durga Puja, the biggest festival in the world for Bengalis, no matter where they live, preparations have already begun across the city.

Many market places in Kolkata are witnessing a surge in footfall amid the Coronavirus pandemic. People are flocking to Gariahat, Hatibagan, Dharmatala markets for Pujo shopping. The crowd is expected to increase in the coming days.

Vande Bharat Express to be back on tracks

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Sunday informed that the ‘Vande Bharat’ express from New Delhi to Katra will resume its services from October 15.

The Railways operations were suspended temporarily across the country after the outbreak of the coronavirus back in March. The semi-high speed train, considered an engineering marvel, has eased travel to Katra by reducing journey to just eight hours from the national capital and expanded its footprint in Jammu and Kashmir.

Global scenario

Globally, the number of cases surpassed the 37 million-mark, while the deaths soared to nearly 10,71,400. The US is the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 7,711,079 and 214,337, respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University.

India comes in second place in terms of cases. The other countries with high number of cases are Brazil (5,055,888), Russia (1,278,245), Colombia (902,747) and Argentina (883,882) the CSSE figures showed.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 149,639.

The countries with a death toll above 20,000 are Mexico (83,842), UK (42,850), Italy (36,140), Peru (33,158) and Spain (32,929).


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