Virus ‘unlocks’ itself after Unlock 2.0 as July marks 10 lakh COVID-19 cases

The country added 4.03 lakh cases during Unlock 1 while it added an additional 10.07 lakh cases during Unlock 2 (until July 31)

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. File photo: PTI

The month of July this year has so far been the worst month for India in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the country reporting 10.07 lakh cases in just 30 days.

After numerous phases of a nationwide lockdown, followed by the staggered exit of the country from the lockdown under ‘Unlock’, India has observed a rapid growth in the number of coronavirus cases across states.

The country added 4.03 lakh cases during Unlock 1 while it added an additional 10.07 lakh cases during Unlock 2 (until July 31).

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The easing of restrictions to restart the economy has only accelerated the spread of the novel coronavirus. During the last week of July 2020, the country saw an average rise of 50,000 cases on a daily basis. On 31 July, the country reported its highest single-day spike of 55,078 cases over a span of 24 hours.

Currently, the total number of cases stands at 17.49 lakh, with 5.67 lakh active cases as of 9.43 pm on August 1.

Increased testing is one of the main reasons behind the surge in the number of cases. A total of 1.02 crore tests for COVID-19 were conducted in the month of July, which indicates that an average of 3 lakh tests were conducted every day by the government. On July 31, 6.42 lakh samples were tested, which reportedly resulted in the highest single-day spike.

The daily test positivity rate (TPR) of the country remained between 8 to 15 per cent. On July 20, the TPR peaked to 15.79 per cent while the lowest rate was at 8.34 per cent on July 2.

Currently, there are 1,331 operational labs for coronavirus testing across the nation, of which 911 labs are government-owned, while the rest (420 labs) are owned by the private sector.

Though the absolute number of recoveries appears to be increasing, the actual rate of recovery has slowed down when compared with the previous month. June saw a jump in recovery rate of approximately 11 per cent, when compared to just 5 per cent in July. The recovery rate of India stands at 64.5 per cent with over a million patients having been cured and discharged from hospitals.

The decline in death rate during the same period is the only consolation for the country. Currently, the death rate stands at 2.2 per cent compared to 3 per cent on the first day of July. The death rate has indicated a steadily falling trend, except on June 17 when the states revised their death toll.

As on date, India has reported 37,396 deaths. More than half of these deaths (19,618 deaths) have been reported in July.

Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were among the new worst-hit states as Delhi improved its condition over the last one month. Both states crossed the mark of one lakh cases, while the cumulative number currently stands at 1.50 and 1.29 lakh cases respectively. Delhi saw an increase of 48,149 cases while its count remained at 1.33 lakh by the end of the Unlock 2.

Maharashtra (4.31 lakh cases) and Tamil Nadu (2.51 lakh cases) did not see much of an improvement, with approximately a two-and-a-half-times increase in the number of cases over the last 30 days.

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