The number of new coronavirus cases in India has more than doubled over the past 20 days, with more than two-thirds of total cases reported in June alone. India’s battle with the novel coronavirus continues as it reaches unprecedented levels of confirmed cases.
India facing an uphill battle against coronavirus
The sharp increase in coronavirus cases has taken India from seventh-highest most affected country in the world at the end of May to fourth-highest today. Only Russia (653,479), Brazil (1.4 million) and the US (2.6 million) have more confirmed cases.
India’s first confirmed case was reported on January 30 in the southern state of Kerala. Over the course of February, known infections remained in the single digits largely due to a lack of testing.
Read more: “Slumdog healthcare” prevails against the coronavirus in India
However, during the first three weeks of March, cases quickly increased to 400. On March 25, the government announced a hard-hitting nationwide lockdown in order to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Groom dies: wedding in Bihar leads to 100 people getting infected
More than 100 people have tested positive for coronavirus in India after attending the wedding, and then funeral, of the groom, who reportedly tied the knot while ill with the disease. Officials in Bihar state said Wednesday the 26-year-old groom had symptoms of the deadly virus when he got married on June 15.
He died two days later.
Coronavirus in Bihar: Groom dead, 95 guests test COVID-19 positive after wedding in Patna #Bihar #coronavirus #Patna #COVID19 https://t.co/f4wnPhJE9K pic.twitter.com/OVAle2qBzX
— Business Today (@business_today) July 1, 2020
“So far 111 people who either attended the wedding or the funeral have tested positive,” said Raj Kishor Chaudhary, chief medical officer in Patna, the state capital. “All others have been identified and isolated.”
Doctors are not certain the unnamed groom was the source of the infection as he was cremated before tests could be carried out. But Chaudhary said around 400 people who attended the wedding or funeral would be isolated following a spurt in infections.
The groom, a software engineer who returned home from near NewDelhi only a week before the wedding, had shown symptoms before the nuptials. He was briefly admitted to hospital, but his family had him discharged and hosted the wedding with over 300 guests.
Read more: Unstoppable coronavirus reaches 500,000 Indians
He died at his home two days later, with nearly 200 people attending the funeral. Some had attended both. None of the groom’s relatives – including his bride – tested positive, officials said. Authorities have launched an investigation into possible violations of social distancing regulations on the number of guests hosted in both the wedding and funeral.
No more than 50 guests are allowed entry into India’s notoriously lavish and colorful weddings. There is a limitation on funerals as well, where only 20 people are allowed. All the standard operating procedures have been set in order to limit the risk of spreading coronavirus.
India’s battle plans against coronavirus
The pandemic is raging across the South Asian country of 1.3 billion people, with almost 600,000 infections and 17,000 deaths reported so far. Bihar, one of the country’s poorest regions and home to 120 million people, has recorded nearly 10,000 cases, with 62 deaths.
Experts believe a lack of testing is hiding the true figures and that the nationwide toll is far higher than reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has eased lockdown restrictions despite a surge in cases. But on Tuesday he warned the nation to be more cautious. “We have become lackadaisical,” he said. “I again want you all to observe precautions in the same way as under lockdown.”
Read more: ‘George Floyds of India’: custodial deaths spark outrage
Over 8.8 million people have been tested in the country of 1.3 billion, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.
US, Brazil, UK, India…
Democracies that were first infected by populism have been the worst at dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
Covid has exposed populist leaders for what they are: self-absorbed, uncaring and incompetent. https://t.co/LH3v6F5Kon pic.twitter.com/3cSJrGayEf
— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) June 29, 2020
As India marked its National Doctors Day on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the role of healthcare professionals in the country’s fight against the virus. According to several media reports, at least 70 doctors have died of the disease in India so far. “India salutes our doctors — exceptional care givers who are at the forefront of a spirited fight against Covid-19,” the premier said in a tweet.
India, which stands fourth in the world in terms of number of infections, had the third highest case count in June after the US and Brazil.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk
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