New year brings a ray of hope as COVID crisis continues to ease

India on Saturday clocked 18,222 new cases – one of the lowest daily counts since August while 19,253 patients recovered

The trend of decline in cases of coronavirus infections has been witnessed for almost 10 consecutive weeks now.

While Europe and the US continue to grapple with COVID-19 in the new year, India looks comfortably placed with the number of cases and fatalities on the decline and recoveries on the rise.

India on Saturday (January 9) clocked 18,222 new cases of coronavirus – one of the lowest daily counts since August last year. The overall count of cases has now reached 1.04 crore as on Saturday (January 9). At the same time, about 19,253 recoveries were reported on the same day. The country reported 228 deaths on Saturday.

The trend of decline in cases of coronavirus infections has been witnessed for almost 10 consecutive weeks now. During the last week (January 3 to 9), India reported an average of 17,978 cases each day for one full week. In December last year, the average of cases was more than 26,000 cases.

The last one week (January 4 to January 9) has been particularly positive. The number of recoveries was higher than the number of new cases on six days of the week except Thursday. About 1.25 lakh new cases were reported against 1.50 lakh recoveries in that week.

The difference between two parameters was the highest on Tuesday (January 5) at 12,716 cases. On Thursday (January 7), the number of fresh cases was a little higher – 759 cases – than the recoveries. This was the day when active cases increased by 537 in a day to reach 2.28 lakh. The number of active cases has been on a decline since September with a few exceptions.

The country’s COVID death rate was 1.45 percent between January 4 and January 9. The number hasn’t changed for the last 41 days starting November 30 (Death rate is the number of patients who died out of every hundred infected patients). The lower death rate is considered a parameter to suggest the declining spread of virus and timely treatment of patients.

The absolute number of deaths (total) in India crossed the 1.50 lakh mark on Wednesday (January 6). As of Saturday, the death toll is 1,50,798. The last week reported a total of 1,580 deaths with a daily average of about 225 deaths in India. This was at about one thousand daily deaths when the pandemic was at its peak in the country. Also, the average is declining with every passing week.

The test positivity rate (TPR), which is a vital parameter to gauge the spread of virus in the country, also showed positive signs in the first week of the new year. The TPR value oscillated between 1 and 2.5 during the whole week (TPR is the number of positive samples per hundred tests). The highest TPR (2.24 per cent) was reported on Monday while the lowest value of the TPR (1.83 per cent) was reported on Tuesday. The country has conducted 6.31 lakh tests in the last week with an average of about 90,000 tests every day.

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